Huffpost Politics

What Sheldon Adelson Could Have Bought With $36.5 Million

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News broke Wednesday that casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is giving a $10 million contribution to the Mitt Romney-backing super PAC Restore Our Future, bringing his contribution total for the 2012 cycle to $36.5 million.

Whether the check-writing ends there isn't clear. But it seems unlikely, as it took less than 24 hours for Forbes to report that Adelson's contributions to super PACs in 2012 would be closer to $100 million or, even, "limitless."

Limitless donations are the new reality of post-Citizens United politics. But it's still worth occasionally stepping back to consider just how much money is being spent on this election. What else could be purchased with Adelson's money?

For Adelson, the $10 million donation he just made to Romney is equivalent to $40 for an American family with a net worth of $100,000, according to Forbes. But that same $36.5 million would have bought Adelson 7,300 nights -- 20 years -- in the penthouse suite at his own Venetian Resort Hotel and Casino. Below, a roundup of what else he could have purchased instead.

A new Macbook Pro for 16,598 of his closest friends.

Four years at a public university for 608 students, or four years at a private university for 278 students.

Food for a month for 1,042,857 children, or enough food to raise 4,828 children to the age of 18.

Seventy-three million standard 12-ounce cans of Natural Light Beer.

Enough seats for the NBA Finals in Miami -- 73,000 -- to buy out the entire stadium for three games and still buy everyone in the stands six Pepsi and hotdog combos.

Three hundred ninety-four Starbucks lattes for each of the 28,500 employees at the Venetian.

About 17,381 Habitat for Humanity homes in Guatemala.

A digital subscription to The New York Times for 202,777 people.

Over 1,825,000 standard-size American flags -- enough for 35,784 flags for each state capitol building and the U.S. Capitol.

Enough Nike shoes to shod 5,214,286 people.

Sets of season tickets to the remaining 40 games in the Yankees season, in box seats, for 1,921 fans.

A new BMW M5 for 396 drivers.

The entire wedding party for 1,424 brides.

Movie tickets for 2,313,054 couples.

A Nintendo Wii for 243,349 families.

One hundred and fifty-eight weeks at the Isla de sa Ferradura, a 14-acre private island near Ibiza, Spain.

A well for 1,767 rural communities in Africa.

A year's worth of food for 5,665 average Americans.

A box of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese for each of America's 25.7 million children under 5.

Even in New York City, 3,173,913 packs of Marlboro Red cigarettes -- enough to smoke 8,695 packs a day or 362 packs an hour for a year.

A 14-night Disney Panama Canal Cruise for 37,056 people.

Full funding for public schools in the District of Columbia for 11 days.

Eighteen years worth of cat food for 17,633 cats.

Thirty-three campaigns for the House of Representatives, or five campaigns for the Senate.

Nate Willis, Cole Stangler and Gregory Rosalsky contributed to this report.

Below, more top super PAC donors seeking to make their mark on the 2012 elections:

Romney Super PAC Donors
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