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Spending Powerball payoff on Blair Walsh, Trump, Burgum and more

FARGO -- There is the possibility somebody could win the $1.5 billion Powerball drawing Wednesday night. Odds are, that person would take the lump-sum payment of the prize, reducing the jackpot to about $930 million. Fortunately, federal and stat...

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Mike McFeely, Oct. 17, 2015. (Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor)

FARGO -- There is the possibility somebody could win the $1.5 billion Powerball drawing Wednesday night. Odds are, that person would take the lump-sum payment of the prize, reducing the jackpot to about $930 million. Fortunately, federal and state taxes could further reduce that sum to somewhere between $400 million and $500 million.

Yes, fortunately. We have to pay for stuff, folks, and the way we pay for stuff -- education, fighting ISIS, Medicare, and food assistance for low-income folks and zillion other worthy things -- is through taxes. It's good we live in a country where the common good still counts for something.

But fear not, $500 million is still a healthy pile of money and whoever wins it will lead a charmed existence if they can fend off the various wolves, leeches and vultures who will be looking to get their fingers into the cookie jar. And that's just family members we're talking about. Things could get really nasty when the world in general learns the winner's name.

A half-billion dollars is more than a reasonable person could spend in a half-billion lifetimes and I consider myself a reasonable person. If I were to win the jackpot, I'd have to find places to spend it. I have some ideas to whom I'd donate a good chunk of money, because they have specific needs.

-- Minnesota Vikings: They could lobby the NFL to move all goal posts 6 feet to the left.

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-- Blair Walsh: A memory scrub. See above.

-- Gary Anderson. Ditto. Ditto.

-- Adrian Peterson: Hand transplants are a thing.

-- Jeb Bush: Charisma transplants are, too.

-- Donald Trump: Soul transplants are not, but research dollars could get us there.

-- City of Moorhead: For the love of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, an underpass. Or five. But at least one. Just one.

-- Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Authority: A time machine to transport people to March 28, 2009, just as a reminder.

-- Minn-Dak Upstream Coalition: A time machine to transport your supporters to March 28, 2029, so you can see that the sky did not fall after the diversion was built.

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-- Craig Bohl: A time machine to go back to December 2013 and have a do-over.

-- Minnesota State University Moorhead: A gift card to Memory Fireworks.

-- North Dakota State University: A Great Plains Division of the Mountain West Conference.

-- Carson Wentz: A new ... no, wait. He's not going to need any money.

-- North Dakota Democrats: A new ... no, wait. $500 million isn't going to be enough.

-- North Dakota Republicans: An on-call orthopedic surgeon, to fix all the sprained shoulders sustained from vigorous back-patting during the Oil Boom.

-- North Dakota Republicans, Part 2: A vibrant opposition party, just because it'd be more fun for you. No, really, it would. Seriously. Trust me.

-- Doug Burgum: Somebody to advise you against what you're expected to do Thursday, since you're apparently not paying somebody willing to fill that role right now.

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-- Charlie and Josh Renville: A printing press to publish your own yearbook, so the rest of us can be done with the issue.

-- Tony Gehrig: A project to fight for, instead of always against, on the Fargo City Commission.

-- Barack Obama: Four more years. To finish the job.

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