First and foremost, I wouldn't tell anyone about it except those who need to know (wife, accountant, etc.) I wouldn't buy a new house or car or anything, although I would pay off my mortgage just so I wouldn't have to worry about paying that each month. Naturally I would help out my friends and family who needed it. With the bulk of it, however, I would do the following: I do research at a relatively small and not-well-known university. There's some good research going on here, but there is potential for so much more. I would invest the money and use the dividends to fund research anonymously here at my university. I would watch what the various labs are doing and when I found researchers who I thought were doing good work and who I thought could use the money I would send them whatever I thought they would need to do something they couldn't get funded other ways. I would also watch for opportunities to provide funding for large equipment that usually requires special grants to obtain.