Most of us probably wish we had an extra $500 around the holidays or when we accidentally put our cellphone through the washer. But have you ever really thought about what you could do with 500 free dollars?

Especially when getting $500 could be as easy as spending FIVE minutes taking a survey.

Here are 10 things you could do with an unexpected $500:

1) Sleep in a castle. Airbnb has a whole list of castles in the United States, but at $75 a night, this spooky one is priced to let you sleep there for several nights in a row and STILL have money left over for travel costs. Doberman guard dog is included for free.

The Manor Master Chamber via Airbnb

2) Enjoy fashionable socks for TWO years. For $20 a month, Sockworks will send you two pairs of socks a month, curated for fun, professional or a mix. You won't have to worry about your dryer eating them, because more will be on their way in a matter of weeks.

3) Sample American caviar. Goldbely will ship (in an elegant bag) 50 grams each of American Osetra, Paddlefish, and Hackleback for $255, not including shipping costs. While you're at it, treat yourself to a serving dish made of mother of pearl, wood plastic or glass, as caviar reacts with metal serving utensils.

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4) Drive a NASCAR for 5 minutes. For $399.99, you can drive a real NASCAR race car (after a driver's meeting and training, of course) at a premier track through No word on whether there will be any other cars on the track, but you will have two-way radio communication with a racing instructor—and the vehicle is covered by insurance. You even get a graduate certificate when you're done.

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5) Display an art guitar. You can't play it, but this guitar is lavishly embellished with "jewelly bits," as the artist explains in the FluffysCompleat Etsy listing. "Unlike any guitar you've ever seen before, this lavish decorative art guitar is sure to be a conversation centerpiece for your recording studio, entertainment room, or guitar collection," the listing states. "There is so much to see!"

FluffysCompleat via Etsy

6) Eat 295 taco supremes at Taco Bell—or more! Both the crunch and soft taco supremes are $1.69 each, according to, so that calculation works if you buy them individually or in irregular numbers. If you buy 12-packs (a 12-pack of crunchy tacos is $11.99), you could get 41 12-packs (or 492 tacos) and still have some money left over. So, you could buy tacos for all the students at a decent-sized elementary school, if you wanted.

7) Start a new hobby keeping bees. Pollinators are extremely important to local gardens and agriculture, and this starter kit comes fully assembled and painted. It costs $195.95, so at this price, you can get one for a friend, too. (Bees not included.)

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8) Experience the world's tallest and fastest giga coaster. The Fury 325 takes you up 325 feet only to drop you at 81 degrees near the start of the 3.25-minute ride that crosses the state line between North and South Carolina. It's part of the Carowinds amusement park; daily admission to the part starts at $45, so you'd have plenty left over for travel and park food expenses.

9) Send her 100 long-stem roses. According to, the arrangement will be more than 2 feet tall—which is probably tall enough to render her speechless and attract the attention of everyone who walks past her desk. (She may have to move her second computer screen, though.)

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10) Make a difference. If you weren't expecting the $500, you won't miss it, right? Think of what your local United Way could do with it. Or what Doctors Without Borders could accomplish. Dolly Parton's Imagination Library gives children a high-quality, age-appropriate book every month from birth until age five for just over $2 a month, so you could help distribute almost 250 books that will help children get a good start with reading, a skill that influences how well they perform in other subjects.

Ready to take the survey and get entered in a drawing for a $500 VISA gift card?