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What $1.46B spent on Mega Millions could buy

The $1.46 billion that Americans are expected to spend on Mega Millions lottery tickets could buy: 26 trips to the International Space Station on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft; more than 2.9 million new iPads at the starting price of $499; 12,000 Maserati GranTurismo sports cars; gasoline for 685,000 American households for a year; or a 73 percent share of the Los Angeles Dodgers, based on the $2 billion Magic Johnson and other investors agreed to pay this week for the baseball franchise. The $1.46 billion that Americans are expected to spend on Mega Millions lottery tickets could buy: 26 trips to the International Space Station on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft; more than 2.9 million new iPads at the starting price of $499; 12,000 Maserati GranTurismo sports cars; gasoline for 685,000 American households for a year; or a 73 percent share of the Los Angeles Dodgers, based on the $2 billion Magic Johnson and other investors agreed to pay this week for the baseball franchise. (AP Photo, File)
By Paul Wiseman
AP Economics Writer / March 30, 2012
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WASHINGTON—Americans are expected to spend $1.46 billion on Mega Millions lottery tickets. So how far does $1.46 billion go?

How much of the Los Angeles Dodgers would it buy? How many trips into space? How much would it shrink the federal budget gap?

With the money that's been spent pursuing the record $640 million jackpot, you could:

-- Feed 238,000 American families for a year.

-- Buy a 73 percent share of the Los Angeles Dodgers, based on the $2 billion that Magic Johnson and other investors agreed to pay this week for the baseball franchise.

-- Stock up on 228 tons of Beluga caviar.

-- Trim this year's expected $1.3 trillion federal deficit by just over one-tenth of 1 percent.

-- Take 26 trips to the International Space Station on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

-- Buy 10 F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets

-- Treat 685,000 average U.S. households to gasoline for a full year.

-- Quadruple the $349 million that President Barack Obama and his Republican challengers spent on their presidential campaigns through February this year.

-- Pay for just under 3 1/2 hours' worth of federal spending.

-- Buy nearly 3 million new iPads at the starting price of $499 -- almost as many as Apple has already sold.

-- Pay a year's worth of health care expenses for 462,000 American average families.

-- Finance the making of the blockbuster movie "The Hunger Games" 19 times over.

-- Provide a week of unemployment benefits for nearly 40 percent of America's 12.8 million unemployed.

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AP Economics Writer Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein and Associated Press Writer Jack Gillum contributed to this report.

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