Spend A Million!
An Internet WebQuest on Mathematics

created by D Sheppard
Brighton Grammar School

Introduction | The Task | The Process & Resources | Conclusion | HyperText Dictionary


Have you ever wondered exactly how big a million is? Is it cool to be a millionairre? Exactly what could you buy with a million dollars? Want the chance to find out? Then follow this nifty little Mathematical Web Quest. It's all GOOD news if you do.

Wahoo!! Your luck has changed. Through the miracle of modern technology you and your partner have been given ONE MILLION virtual dollars!

One catch though - now you have to spend it! You can buy anything you like - as long as you keep accurate records and obtain 'proof of purchase'.

All your shopping is to be done online by the BIG SPENDER. Record keeping should be done by the ACCOUNTANT using an Excel spreadsheet. Make sure you look at the other rules listed under the Instructions section.

The Quest

How big is a million?

The Process and Resources

In this WebQuest you will be working together with another student to find out just what it would take to spend a million dollars and how much you can buy. You will be working with big numbers, Excel spreadsheets and formulae and copying images from the Internet.

Phase 1 - Background: Something for Everyone

Use the Internet links below to visit shopping sites and 'buy' items with your $1000000. Remember that all money MUST be in $(AUS). You will need to check this if you are visiting International sites. Use the currency converter to change foreign currency to $(AUS)

Phase 2 - Looking Deeper from Different Perspectives


1. Both members of your WebQuest team will explore the roles below. You must keep a clear and accurate record of when you undertook each role. You will be given a log sheet to assist with this.

2. Visit the sites below and choose items you wish to purchase. Each item must have an image and definite listed price.

3. You must buy at least 15 items.

4. No one single item can exceed $300000

5. Only ONE of each item may be purchased (eg ONE house, ONE car etc).

6. Rounding is not to be done until the final total. If an item costs $99.98 that is the number that is entered into your spreadsheet. The final total can be rounded to the nearest 5 cents.

7. Into Column A of your spreadsheet write the title of the item and a couple of sentences justifying your choice.

8. Into Column B write the price.

9. Write a formula for a running total into Column C

10. Copy the image of what you have 'bought' into Column D of your Excel worksheet.

Big Spender

As the Big Spender it is your job to:

1. Visit appropriate sites to find items to purchase.
2. Copy the image of your chosen item into Column D of your spreadsheet.
3. Write, in conjunction with the Accountant, a justification of your purchase into Column A of your spreadsheet.
4. Collect and complete the Role Sheet, recording when you have worked as the Big Spender.


As the Accountant it is your job to:

1. Visit appropriate sites to find items to purchase.
2. Write the price of your chosen item into Column B of your spreadsheet, checking that the running total formula is correct.
3. Write, in conjunction with the Big Spender, a justification of your purchase into Column A of your spreadsheet.
4. Collect and complete the Role Sheet, recording when you have worked as the Accountant.

Phase 3 - Debating, Discussing, and Reaching Consensus

- -OK ... so time's up! How did you go? Did you spend EXACTLY $1000000? What difficulties did you and your partner encounter? Did rounding have an effect on your total?

Now it's time to boast about your purchases!

1. Check that your spreadsheet is set for Landscape.
2. Use the page grid lines to check that Column D does not extend over a page.
3. Print out your work.
4. With your partner, prepare a three minute talk about the experiences you had spending $1000000. It MUST NOT be just a list of what you bought but, of course, you will mention some of your items (perhaps the ones you think noone else will have!) You should focus part of your talk on what you would do differently next time. (For help in working out your talk collect the Oral Presentation rubric.)
5. Present your talk to the class.

Phase 4 - Real World Feedback

You and your partner have spent time considering which items you would buy. You have also spent a great deal of time on Internet shopping sites. During that time your written and oral work has shown what you have learnt. Now it's time to consider what questions your work has raised and how you might find answers to them.

You and your partner now need to:

1. Discuss the thinking needed in buying a house. What factors would be considered? Look at the house you chose. What make it worth the price you paid? Formulate question/s that a real estate expert could answer for you.

2. The Internet is becoming more and more part of our daily lives. You and your partner spent $1000000 without moving form your computer! What impact will that have for us in the future? Discuss this issue with your partner and formulate question/s that Dr. Internet could answer for you.

You will find experts on both these areas at: http://www.askanexpert.com/

The Real Estate expert is in the Money/Business category. Dr. Internet can be found in the Internet/Computer category.

Your Contact is: the designated contact


So that's that! ONE MILLION virtual dollars gone!

Now you've spent 1 million - could you spend more? If that's 1 million - what about 2 million? 5 million? 50 million? Could we spend a (US)BILLION? Could we spend a (AUS)BILLION? (What is the difference between the two?)

When we hear that Bill Gates is worth $30.86 Billion what understanding do we have? What in the world could we (or Mr Gates, for that matter) do with that much money?

The last American government budget was 2 TRILLION dollars. Perhaps when you are older you may be the world's first TRILLIONAIRRE!

 created by Filamentality Content by D Sheppard, dsheppard@brightongrammar.vic.edu.au
Last revised Thu Jan 29 19:07:08 US/Pacific 2004