This weekend, Washingtonians will once again try their luck at either or both the Mega Millions and Powerball lottery drawings. This is the fifth consecutive back-to-back game days of bigger and bigger lottery jackpots in 2021, as Mega Millions is played Tuesdays and Fridays, while Powerball drawings take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The Mega Millions prize is at least $750 million for Friday night's (1/15/21) jackpot while Saturday night's (1/16/21) Powerball payoff is at least $640 million.

While the odds to pocket either big one are severely astronomical, recently a Hermiston man matched four white balls playing Powerball and bagged 100K, so even a partial win got me thinking, if you had a million dollars to retire on, how long could you make it last in Washington, and where in the U.S.A. would be the place to make it last the longest?

Fiscal Cliff
Torian Dixon

Before I even looked it up, my guess was either Hawaii or California would eat up the cash the fastest, but had no clue where it would last the longest. Deep south, maybe? I figured Washington and Oregon were probably somewhere in the middle third.

This is what I found out.

Mississippi is the cheapest state in which to retire as one million dollars would last you over 23 years. Hawaii? About a decade, a little more than ten years before your bank account would be empty, good for the top spot. Oregon? In the top FIVE, The Big O is the fourth fastest state where you'll burn through your savings, which is a bit puzzling.


  • Annual groceries cost: $4,494.09
  • Annual housing cost: $17,244.95
  • Annual utilities cost: $3,318.83
  • Annual transportation cost: $6,020.72
  • Annual healthcare cost: $7,863.11
  • Total annual expenditures: $68,152.40

How long $1 million will last in savings: 14 years, 7 months, 29 days

The criteria used to crunch the numbers included cost of living, housing costs, utilities costs, transportation costs and healthcare costs. To make the call of how long the money would last, researchers multiplied the annual expenditures of each state’s overall annual cost-of-living index by other categories' annual expenditure figures.

The 10 states where $1 million goes the farthest are:  Mississippi . . . Oklahoma . . . Arkansas . . . New Mexico . . . Kansas . . . Missouri . . . Tennessee . . . Alabama . . . Georgia . . . and Michigan.  They're all between 21 and 23 years.

The states where you'd burn through it the fastest are:  Hawaii, 10 years and three months . . . California, just over 14 years . . . New York, 14 years and three months . . . Oregon, 14 years and seven months . . . and Massachusetts, just over 15 years.

Everyone's favorite (?) retirement state of Florida was in the middle of the pack.  $1 million there would last 20 years, good enough for 26th place.

The website ranked all 50 states and Washington? 13th.


  • Annual groceries cost: $4,305.67
  • Annual housing cost: $11,003.83
  • Annual utilities cost: $3,387.34
  • Annual transportation cost: $5,403.92
  • Annual healthcare cost: $8,094.38
  • Total annual expenditures: $55,996.86

How long $1 million will last in savings: 17 years, 10 months, 4 days

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