If I had a million bucks...

“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” Apparently we all do, if the ratings for the summer’s surprise TV hit are to be believed. So to pay homage to our new favorite glitzy quiz show, which we hope will be returning to the airwaves this fall, we asked folks around the Penn campus what they would do with a million smackeroonies.

  • Ben Friedenson, College, Class of ’00
    “What wouldn’t I do?”
  • Loretta Mulcare, Engineering and Applied Sciences, Class of ’00
    “I’d buy every single amazing Spiderman comic book. I’d call up Johnny Depp for a date. I’d finance a movie for him and I’d play his girlfriend. And I’d make a really big metal boat to live in, as big as I could make it. It wouldn’t have to float.”
  • Mike DeRidder, Engineering and Applied Sciences, Ph.D.
    “I would travel for a year everywhere I wanted to go. I’d buy surrealist paintings. And I’d buy beer.”
  • Nathan Schreiber, College, Class of ’02
    “I’d buy an amp for my guitar. And a better electric guitar.”
  • Monica Shah, College ’00
    “I’d buy my parents something big. My mom needs a new car. Maybe one of those BMW roadsters. I don’t know if she’d like it, but she’d have to take it as a gift.”
  • Shaun Fonseca, College, Class of ’01
    “I would give it to a mission operation in the Middle East, like World Vision — they feed a lot of people — and Operation Mobilization — they’re on the edge of sharing the gospel, they’re full-time evangelists. They go to Iraq and Iran and the Sudan — dangerous places. It’s nice to be a missionary if you can go to Italy.”
  • Fady Barmada, Architecture, Master’s
    “I want to open my own firm so I’d probably use the money for that. It would be used toward marketing and covering expenses. Plus, having the money in savings as a student, it could earn $40,000 a year. I could live off that as a student.”
  • Sarah Moll, Engineering and Applied Sciences, Ph.D.
    “I’d invest. I’d put a percentage in high-risk stocks since the money was just given to me.”
  • Kyle Goldbacher, College, Class of ’00
    “A million dollars is a lot of money. I’d have to pay my loans back first because otherwise I’d go to jail. I’d distribute it to people who need it most. I’d travel to help people — anywhere that needs it most at the present moment.”
  • Aileen Park, College, Class of ’00
    “I’d fix the broken parts of my mom’s house. There’s a lot that’s broken. I’d go scuba diving in the tropics. And I’d buy a house in Alaska — there’s a rumor that if you have a child there you get $1,000 a year.”

--Sono Motoyama

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Originally published on September 16, 1999