You could buy these companies with Powerball jackpot

What happens when you win the lottery?
What happens when you win the lottery?

What would you do if you won the Powerball jackpot?

Most of us would probably retire, pay down debt, make sure the kids are financially secure, buy a house (or 10 ... hey, the Playboy Mansion is on the block) and start traveling the world.

But you could also use the $1.5 billion* to take over some pretty well-known publicly traded companies.

(*Yes, I realize that you wouldn't really win $1.5 billion given taxes and the whole lump sum payment thing. Details, shmetails. Humor me. Heck, the jackpot will probably be even higher by the time of the next drawing on Wednesday.)

These companies all have a market value of less than $1.5 billion. So start dreaming big. You could be the next Carl Icahn!

  • Avon (AVP): $1.2 billion. Ding-dong, new ownership calling!
  • La-Z-Boy (LZB): $1.1 billion. Sit back, put your feet up and relax ... in any chair you want. You own them all!
  • U.S. Steel (X): $1 billion. Cue Hyman Roth from "The Godfather: Part II." With Powerball, you're bigger than U.S. Steel.
  • Select Comfort (SCSS): $1 billion. I've got your Sleep Number right here! 1.5 billion smackeroos.
  • Pep Boys (PBY): $999 million. Icahn just won a bidding war with Bridgestone for the auto parts chain. Care to top his offer?
  • Caesars Entertainment (CZR): $972 million. See if you can run a casino company better than Donald Trump did!
  • KB Home (KBH): $928 million. Who needs to buy a house when you can own a company that builds them?
  • Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (RRGB): $812 million. Yes. You can have bottomless steak fries with that.
  • Lands' End (LE): $750 million. That's a lot of sweaters.
  • Crocs (CROX): $672 million. Raise prices on those plastic shoes just because you can ... and make Mario Batali sweat.
  • Barnes & Noble (BKS): $662 million. Face it. You'll have a lot of free time to drink coffee and read books after you retire.
  • Men's Wearhouse (MW): $585 million. Fire the current management team and bring back George Zimmer!

I'd probably pass on all these opportunities though to be honest. My beloved New York Islanders are worth "only" $325 million, according to Forbes. So I could buy my favorite hockey team and have plenty of money left over ... for the Playboy Mansion.

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