What the Mega Millions Jackpot Could Buy

Joel Anderson  |

The Mega Millions lottery has reached a record jackpot of a cool half billion dollars. After Wednesday morning's drawing failed to produce a winner with all five numbers picked correctly along with the sixth mega number, even though 47 people got five correct for a $250,000 payday. This means that the total jackpot hit $540 million, giving lottery players everywhere dreams of hitting it big. This raises an intriguing question: What sort of companies could a lucky winner purchase lock, stock, and barrel?

Of course, buying a company would involve paying a premium, and the lump-sum payout for the lottery is actually just $389 million (to reach $540 million the winner would have to accept ongoing annual payments), not to mention Uncle Sam's fairly substantial cut, but that doesn't mean it isn't fun to take a look at companies that would fall within the $540 million level that will be coming to the eventual winner of the Mega Millions jackpot.

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Smith & Wesson (SWHC)

It's surprising that one of the more recognizable handgun brands in the world has a market cap of just $499 million, but Smith & Wesson remains a small company. Founded in 1852 by Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson, the origin of the firm's name will most likely remain a mystery. Smith & Wesson is based in Springfield, MA , and its handguns have been featured in a number of popular films and television shows, including, most notably, Dirty Harry. Arguably, the company's high point came this Tuesday when it won equities.com's Market Madness Bracket by beating out Alcoa (AA).

Arkansas Best Corporation (ABFS)

Founded in 1923, Arkansas Best is a trucking company based out of Fort Smith, AR, and it was named to Forbes 400 Best Big Companies in 2005. Why buy the company at its market cap of $483.27 million? Because it's the best corporation in Arkansas. It's right there in the name.

Sonic Corporation (SONC)

While clearly operating on an entirely different level than its major competitors, this small Oklahoma City, OK-based company is valued at just $474.70 million. Sonic was founded by Troy N. Smith after he returned from World War II to his hometown of Seminole, OK and decided to enter the fast food business. More recently, the company may be best known for its quirky campaign of commercials.

Hot Topic (HOTT)

This line of apparel stores specializing in offering pop-culture related clothing and products, with approximately 30 percent of revenue coming from licensed band T-shirts. Founded in 1988 by Orv Madden, the Industry, CA-based company might be worth purchasing at its current market cap of $471.48 million because it's all people seem to be talking about lately.

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