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Powerball to exceed $1 billion: How much is an NFL team worth?

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The Powerball lottery is about to cross $1 billion after no one won the prize on Saturday. We are starting to close in on NFL franchise value levels.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The multi-state Powerball lottery will reach unheard of levels this week as the Wednesday drawing reaches an estimated value of $1.3 billion. Yes, where lotteries that would make you a millionaire used to be the big goal, we are going to have a prize pool of over $1 BILLION. Which, brings up the idea of, could you buy an NFL franchise if you won the Powerball?

In short, no.

According to Forbes, the average value of an NFL franchise is just shy of $2 billion. The top team in the league, in terms of value, is the Dallas Cowboys, which are currently values at $4 billion. Nine of the teams are over $2 billion in value: New England Patriots ($3.2B), Washington Redskins ($2.85B), New York Giants ($2.8B), San Francisco 49ers ($2.7B), New York Jets ($2.6B), Houston Texans ($2.5B), Chicago Bears ($2.45B), and Philadelphia Eagles ($2.4B). The tenth ranked Green Bay Packers are just shy of the $2 billion mark at $1.95 billion.

Of course, trying to buy a top franchise is going to be expensive no matter what. How about the least valued teams in the league? How close can a $1.3 billion Powerball get you?

The Buffalo Bills are the least valued team in the league, according to the Forbes list, at $1.4 billion. The Oakland Raiders are 31st at $1.43 billion, while the Detroit Lions ($1.44B), Cincinnati Bengals ($1.445B), and St. Louis Rams ($1.45B), round out the bottom five.

We are making the assumption that, when you hit the Powerball, you will get the full $1.3 billion, which is not accurate given that the lump sum option, which most people will take, will cut some of the value, and then taxes will take a huge chunk out of it as well. But, it would still be more money that any of us will likely see in our lives.

In case you were wondering, the 16th ranked Miami Dolphins are currently estimated to be worth $1.85 billion, one of the median pair of values (the Atlanta Falcons at 17 are worth $1.67B). The statistical median for the values of the teams in the league is $1.76 billion. If you were realistically going to try to buy the Dolphins away from Stephen Ross, you are going to have to hope the Powerball continues to grow to about double its value right now.

So, realistically, you are not going to be buying an NFL team with your Powerball winnings. Hopefully, the $1.3 billion will be enough to overcome your disappointment.