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If a $1 million dollar competitions came out roughly in 1985. Would would the equivalent prize money be today?

Many thanks!

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Do you have information about the inflation rate to use? Otherwise, this problem is pretty much unsolvable. – Johannes Kloos May 21 '12 at 12:58
Seems to me you just 'want the answer'. In that case you might as well use or similar results on google. – M.B. May 21 '12 at 12:58
In what country? – Qiaochu Yuan May 21 '12 at 12:58
I think he just wants some estimate for inflation. Basically probably what he is looking for is $\$1,000,000 \times (1.05)^{27}=\$3,700,000$ approximately. – picakhu May 21 '12 at 13:13
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The Current Value of Old Money is a useful site for this purpose.

The answer specifically to this question is approximately $2 million (depending on how you calculate it).

USA's CPI calculation is probably most relevant to you - as this measures inflation (in the US) according to the value of typical household purchases. (So, to be more precise, you might consider a different CPI that reflects relevant luxury purchases) Anyway, \$2.09 million is a sensible value to choose from this table. Note that it's 2012, so you might consider adding ~2.4% for this year's CPI, giving you \$2.14 million.

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Thanks everyone. I just wanted a rough idea of what that value might be in today's terms. – SixfootJames May 21 '12 at 17:11

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