14 people on the streets of New York City told us what they would do with $1 million

Myelle Lansat/Business Insider32-year-old Russell said with $US1 million he would help his family and invest.
  • We asked 14 people on the streets of New York City what they would do with $US1 million.
  • Most people said they would help out family members or invest the money in real estate or the stock market.
  • We also asked “What’s the best thing you’ve splurged on?” – some people said vacations and others said necessities like groceries.

Depending on where you are, $US1 million can either be a lot of money, or very little.

New York City is one of the most expensive places to live. Business Insider asked 14 people on the streets of the Big Apple what they would do with $US1 million dollars.

Fo the most part, people in the streets of New York City said they would help out others first if they had an extra million in their pockets.

We also asked what the best thing people have already splurged on, and some said experiences, like travel, and others thought of necessities, like grocery shopping.

Check out their answers below.


Effy Bergstein, 33

Myelle Lansat/Business InsiderEffy lives in New York with Milo, her dog, and is a student at Fordham.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever splurged on?

I bought Milo a $US250 bed at Petco, so that was exciting.

What would you do with $US1 million?

A million dollars? I actually, I don’t even know if a million dollars is enough for Manhattan to even do anything. I’d probably buy property, like real estate, as an investment. But what can you really get in Manhattan for a million bucks?


Benjamin Cancy, 21

Myelle Lansat/Business InsiderBenjamin is from Brooklyn and works for South Street Seaport.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever splurged on?

I would say my girl. If you want to talk about splurge.

What would you do with $US1 million?

Well my mum, she always wanted to talk about how she wanted to move to Maryland, so I’d get a little crib out there. Other than that I’d buy me a little crib and I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing until I’m 40 and then retire.


Andrew Maxwell, 61

Myelle Lansat/Business InsiderAndrew is from Australia and works for a small Australian import/export company.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever splurged on?

Well the best thing I’ve splurged on is a mulcher. An American-made mulcher, Milwaukee, saved me heaps of time, given me great joy in being able to shred branches and those sorts of things, and yeah just thoroughly enjoy myself in the garden.

What would you do with $US1 million?

I don’t know, probably wouldn’t change my lifestyle at all. Maybe wouldn’t do anything with it, maybe pay off the mortgage, pay off my kid’s mortgage. I think that would pretty well cover it.


Claudia Garbizu, 19

Myelle Lansat/Business InsiderClaudia is a student from Spain.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever splurged on?

The food of New York, the food, the subway, I like the subway. The jobs, and the food trucks. Yeah I think that would be all. Actually I don’t know, the apartment and the flight. I don’t know. I like New York, it was my dream since I was a child to come and visit.

What would you do with $US1 million?

Oh my god, I will buy an apartment in the top of a huge building to see all the views and the people who come here. I would live like a New Yorker.


John Heffernam, 66

Myelle Lansat/Business InsiderJohn is retired living in New York City.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever splurged on?

Right there [points to bike]. I highly recommend it. You’ll know if it’s for you after your first ride.

What would you do with $US1 million?

Put it in the bank and live off the income.


Malik Jones, 37

Myelle Lansat/Business InsiderMalik lives in Brooklyn and works in security.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever splurged on?

Groceries.

What would you do with $US1 million?

I would take care of my family.


Michael Tweed, 57

Myelle Lansat/Business InsiderMichael is an artist from Canada.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever splurged on?

Oh my lord. Splurge is a really tough one. I wouldn’t consider it splurging, that’s the problem. Most things I consider awesome aren’t splurging. Things like trips to here [New York] or Nepal, things like that. If it’s something I want.

What would you do with $US1 million?

Well, it would be a combination of investing so I had money to live off of and I would help out a few people I know who could use the money.


Puspojit Neogy, 34

Myelle Lansat/Business InsiderPuspojit is a programmer from New Jersey.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever splurged on?

Maybe spending the entire night in Miami Beach, that’s the best thing I ever splurged on.

What would you do with $US1 million?

I would probably invest it in some mutual funds.


Jaclyn Burday, 28

Myelle Lansat/Business InsiderJaclyn lives in New York City and works in fashion public relations.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever splurged on?

Yves Saint Laurent tote.

What would you do with $US1 million?

Start a philanthropy to give back, as well as [start] my own business.


Rajesh Kumar, 52

Myelle Lansat/Business InsiderRajesh is an entrepreneur from India.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever splurged on?

On my personal needs and my wife and her needs. That’s the maximum money I’ve spent.

What would you do with $US1 million?

I let her decide what to do [points to his wife].


Roman Larichev, 32

Myelle Lansat/Business InsiderRoman lives in New York City and is a modelling agent.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever splurged on?

Travels. Let’s say Thailand.

What would you do with $US1 million?

Probably I would start my own business, talent management.


Olga Maxwell, 59

Myelle Lansat/Business InsiderOlga is from Australia and works for a small Australian import/export company.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever splurged on?

My car.

What would you do with $US1 million?

I’d probably set up some kind of kitchen for the homeless and provide them with some sort of sleep arrangement, like swags or something for the winter so they don’t go cold.


Vivek Kumar, 32

Myelle Lansat/Business InsiderVivek is a software consultant from New Jersey.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever splurged on?

Hopping from one bar to another while in Brooklyn and returning home by early morning at six.

What would you do with $US1 million?

I would definitely buy a property here, maybe in this building if they’d give me [pointing to a building he works at].


Russell West, 32

Myelle Lansat/Business InsiderRussell is a bartender from New Jersey.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever splurged on?

Probably vacations, going travelling, spending money to see new sights, new places to go; I mean, yeah, it’s definitely money not wasted.

What would you do with $US1 million?

I would probably set some money aside, help out the family, and then invest and turn it into a lot more than that.

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