I have asked this question to countless people (mostly in hair salons) as an alternative to small talk, and it always yields interesting results.

Rules:

  • You get the money right now, right where you are. If it’s 10pm and you’re in the middle of nowhere, your money will still go poof at 11pm.
  • As a result of the above, tell us what time it is and roughly where you are (big city, desert, small town, …)
  • You must spend the money. You cannot give it to someone to hold on to it for you for a while.
  • Normal world rules apply, e.g. you cannot buy a $250k car at a dealership in 1h in cash, and you cannot buy a house in 1h either.
  • Remember that getting from where you are to the place you need to go takes time. Factor that in!

Edit: I’m glad you guys had fun with this one. Feel free to post similar hypothetical questions. I kinda like these.

Edit edit: Free advertising 😅 --> I run and maintain an open source push notification service called ntfy, which let’s you send notifications to your phone via PUT/POST, like curl -d "backup successful" ntfy.sh/mytopic. Go check it out.

  • CosmicSploogeDrizzle@lemmy.ml
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    1 year ago

    Go to the nearest jewelry store and buy everything in it. Wait an hour, return it as per the refund policy. If there is no refund policy then I would sell it off. Even if I lost 50% on the sell back, that’s still half a mil in cash.

    Most popular jewelers have at least a 30 day refund policy.

    • binwiederhier@discuss.ntfy.shOP
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      1 year ago

      This has been my go to answer if the hair stylist asked what I’d do. I’d go to different jewlery stores, because they’d still call the cops if you wanna buy stuff for a million.

      (I forgot to add the “no returning items” rule; but since you added the “selling it off” part I think it’s fine, hehe)

      • Evan@lemmy.mlM
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        1 year ago

        they’d still call the cops if you wanna buy stuff for a million.

        On what grounds could the cops make an arrest?

        • Susaga@sh.itjust.works
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          1 year ago

          A sudden amount of undeclared income in cash would set off alarms to anyone in law enforcement. Even if it’s not a crime by itself, they’d absolutely want to know how you got it.

  • boomaDooma@lemmy.ml
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    1 year ago

    I would buy four tickets on a mini-sub tour of the Titanic and give them to 4 billionaires.

  • ickplant@lemmy.world
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    1 year ago

    It’s 10:15pm in suburban Colorado, and I’m purchasing one sexual favor from my husband for $1 million.

  • DrTeeth@lemmy.world
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    1 year ago

    I’m in Switzerland, so I buy a leisurely coffee and croissant. With the change I buy a bottle of water.

    • SpliceVW@vlemmy.net
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      1 year ago

      The post specified cash. How would you purchase $1m in index funds with cash in an hour?

      • NattyNatty2x4@beehaw.org
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        1 year ago

        Bring it to my bank, deposit, then purchase online.

        Though I’d leave it in my index fund, on average they perform better than actively managed accounts

        • towerful@beehaw.org
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          1 year ago

          I think getting to a bank, explaining where 1M in cash came from, getting them to accept the deposit, getting them to count it, then spending it in less than an hour is not feasible.

          Because, depositing it in a bank is not enough.
          It has to be spent.
          So, if you don’t spend it then the bank is left without however much disappears… If that makes sense.

          And, given that, I don’t think investing is a suitable application.
          Otherwise, just invest it directly at the bank.
          Maybe you don’t get inflation-beating interest (ie, if it was your 1M you would be losing money), but after whatever-term you get 1M of clean money to spend.

          • Obi@sopuli.xyz
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            1 year ago

            I think the only way to spend it all is if you have some shady crypto connection that will give you 800k in bitcoin for it on the spot or something.

            Otherwise just go out for the fastest shopping spree you ever did, find an electronics store or whatever expensive retail outlet you can find and spend as much possible.

          • NattyNatty2x4@beehaw.org
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            1 year ago

            If counting the money was a problem to overcome intended by OP, they would’ve mentioned it. For the sake of the post’s intent I think it’s safe to assume the money is in large bills, which can be counted very quickly by a machine. Add to that that I can just use an ATM at the front of my bank, and things are much more fast and automatic.

            Once it’s in my account, it’s in my account and I can use it right away

            • towerful@beehaw.org
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              1 year ago

              On money counting…
              Well, $500 and $1000 bill was discontinued in 1969.
              So, if you are dealing with those bills, you are dealing with collectors who will be more particular.
              So, let’s got with $100 bills.
              Googling “fastest bill counter” gives the “JetScan iFX i100” which can do 1600 bills per minute.
              Which is only 6.25 minutes for $1M in $100 bills.
              And it had counterfeit detection.
              Honestly, that’s a hell of a lot faster than I expected.
              If the bank has/uses automated machines for customer deposits.

              Anyway, I don’t think a bank would accept a $1M deposit.
              Any deposits over $10,000 require special processing by the IRS.
              Indeed, all financial institutions need to abide by “know your customer” rules.
              https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Know_your_customer

              If you are a regular banker than has a $50k salary and you rock up with $1M cash, a bank is going to refuse you. Or at least do a hell of a lot of due-diligence.
              It’s all about anti-laundering and anti-terrorism these days, and they need to manage the risk of having you as a customer.
              If you have a history of big cash deposits, then it might be easier.

              Even then, chances are you would have to go to a fairly major branch of a bank for them to be able to accept the risk of holding $1M in cash.

              I know modern banking is “Money in, money out. So easy”.
              But beyond certain thresholds, risk management, government agencies and laws all come into effect. And you can bet your ass, a bank will be wanting to minimise their risk!

    • state_electrician@discuss.tchncs.de
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      1 year ago

      Where do you go that accepts 1M in cash without calling the cops? And who manages to count that much money? And who won’t call the cops if the money suddenly vanishes?

      • ramius345@beehaw.org
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        1 year ago

        Depends on if in this hypothetical fantasy situation if buy means initiate or complete the transaction.

        • Slawtering@lemmy.ml
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          1 year ago

          I’d read it as the physical cash leaving your hands in a transaction, so I guess you could order something to be delivered in X amount of time.

    • exterstellar@lemmy.world
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      1 year ago

      Probably the best idea in this thread unless you have other more immediate needs like paying off high interest debts.

  • moozogew@lemmy.fmhy.ml
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    1 year ago

    First I would bang on a neighbor’s door and pay them to follow me with a camera then run into the fairly nearby motorbike shop and yell ‘quick I’m doing a Mr Beast challenge I need to spend a million dollars in the next half hour!’ all four guys working would jump at it especially if I said ‘give yourself 10% commission on each one’

    The only other shop near that isn’t just groceries is a wedding dress shop so I guess while they’re getting the paperwork ready I’d run in and buy their most expensive white gowns so that we could ride in style - though the train might get caught in the chain…

    Oh and I’d run into the pub and tell them to ring up as much as possible before the time runs out so we can all go there after to relax.

  • EinfachUnersetzlich@lemm.ee
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    1 year ago

    I’m on a flight 35,000 feet above the Gobi Desert. The cash is pretty much useless to me. In fact it’s a bit bulky and I’ll be glad to see the back of it.

    Plus, nothing on this flight can be bought for any kind of dollars.

  • MrFunnyMoustache@lemmy.ml
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    1 year ago

    It’s kinda late here in Europe, but I would immediately go to my neighbour and explain the situation quickly.

    His house isn’t worth a million dollars but I would buy it for 1 million dollars anyway, after the sale is done, I’d sell it back to him for a price so after taxes we would each get half. We know each other well enough to trust that we won’t screw the other…

  • Aninjanameddaryll@sopuli.xyz
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    1 year ago

    Why do these always exist before the internet? We can order bullion online now. It’s almost midnight in a fairly rural area

    But yeah, I know a guy that will sell certain things for cash that normally require legal hurdles. But if you show up, cash in hand, he’ll backdate things on his end. One phone call, I could buy out his stock in fifteen minutes because I’m a regular customer he trusts. He’s usually got a few hundred thousand of goods in place.

    Barring that, I’m kinda screwed at this time of night.

    I know a couple of farmers that would let me buy livestock in cash like this, but that’s only going to be a few thousand bucks.

    I know a weed dealer that would be able to give me a few pounds if he’s got it in, but I would have to call and ask how much he has.

    Do services count? If so, I’ve got an idea for a cheat lol. Hire my wife for a back rub.

    So, I just took a second and sent a text to an acquaintance and explained the scenario. Turns out you can buy a car in an hour or less. It’s just a matter of paperwork to make the sale official. So, if you know a car dealer, and they have enough on their lot, you could easily get rid of most of that million in time. Most of the time wasted isn’t really necessary. If the dealer and the buyer are already on the same page with the price, you could get as many cars as you have time to sign for.

  • Rentlar@lemmy.ca
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    1 year ago

    Everything is closed.

    Plan A: I could try to stuff an atm full of cash, but I’d be investigated for fraud, counterfitting or something. I would record myself holding the cash, wave it in front of all the security cameras I could to show that I legitimately have it, then insert it as much into the ATM as I could and acquire reciepts. In $100 bills I can put 50 at a time so $5000.If it stops accepting any money, I could try a crypto ATM too. Countersue the bank for stealing my money if they claim I’m responsible for the disappearance.

    Plan B: I can reach the airport in under a half hour, I could convert it to USD as much they let me before leaving. They might accept 10k that way.

    The trouble is, I will be asked about the origin of the money, “It just appeared in front of me/A genie gave it to me/I dug it out of the ground” are reasons that might not hold up well in court.

    E: Wait does “spent” money vanish or does it stay?

      • Rentlar@lemmy.ca
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        1 year ago

        Right, but how would I put this cash into the interwebz before it disappears? If it was in my online bank account then I could get stocks and bonds that pay out $40k in dividends every 3 months.

  • MusketeerX@lemmy.world
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    1 year ago

    I’m screwed.

    It’s 8pm on a Sunday and I’m stuck in hospital temporarily unable to walk, so I can’t really buy anything in the next hr :(

    Guess I may as well share it with the nurses. If I can’t give it away, then maybe buy a hug from each one, or a massage, or … no let’s not go there!

    Anyway, better to share it than let it lapse :)

    • Sentient Loom@sh.itjust.works
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      1 year ago

      Get some stuff from Amazon. The delivery person will be very surprised when they deliver a million dollars worth of stuff, but hey that’s not your problem!

  • PeterPoopshit@lemmy.ml
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    1 year ago

    Buy a bunch of prepaid debit cards and use it to buy a bunch of random bullshit from ebay and Amazon. Won’t be able to get anywhere near $1M worth of prepaid cards but whatever. When all the pointless shit shows up in my doorstep, resell for like 75% of its original value.

  • MystikIncarnate@lemmy.ca
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    1 year ago

    Depending on timing, as long as there’s a bank branch near me when this deal starts (which, there is one ~10 minutes drive from me); I would head there first, 100%. I’d pay off every debt I have with the bank, Credit Cards, lines of credit, etc. Should take 20 minutes or so, it’s not a large number of debts, but it’s not a trivial amount.

    I’d then drive across the city to the bank that holds my mortgage, and give them whatever is left… either as pre-payment towards my mortgage, or simply to buy out the mortgage and pay it off.

    I wouldn’t have much left after that; but I’m hoping I can get all that done in an hour. If, at that point, I have enough time remaining to buy anything, I’d probably see if I could hit up the nearest hardware store and buy all the power tool batteries I can find. Just the batteries, because damn that shit is expensive.