Pop quiz, hotshot. What would bring a $5 billion investment along with providing jobs for up to 50,000 people in Illinois? The answer is: Amazon's planned second headquarters (the main HQ is in Seattle), and Chicago is in the running to land it.

Now, to be accurate, Chicago has a 1 in 20 chance of being picked by Amazon, who just released their pared-down list of potential sites for HQ number two.

The list released just this morning includes the cities of:

Atlanta, Austin, Texas, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, Toronto, Washington, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; Newark, New Jersey; Columbus, Ohio. It also listed northern Virginia and Montgomery County in Maryland as potential sites.

The online retailer said Thursday that after sorting through 238 proposals, the potential locations still include tech-strong places like Boston and New York. Other contenders include Chicago, Indianapolis, and Columbus, Ohio, in the Midwest.

The company had stipulated that it was seeking to be near a metropolitan area with more than a million people; be able to attract top technical talent; be within 45 minutes of an international airport; have direct access to mass transit; and be able to expand that headquarters to as much as 8 million square feet in the next decade.

But Amazon also made it very clear that it wanted tax breaks, grants and any other incentives.

You can understand why they need the extra space. Near the end of last year, Amazon had nearly 550,000 employees, which is a 77% increase over the year before, part of that coming from adding 89,000 employees they gained from taking over Whole Foods.

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