4 Key Considerations If You Hit The $1.28 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot

1. Breathe

Instead of impulsively rushing to lottery headquarters to claim your prize, take a deep breath. You have time to claim your prize, from three months to a year, depending on where you bought your ticket.

“Pause before making big decisions,” Irwin said. “This is the quiet period before the chaos.”

2. Protect your ticket and your privacy

In general, experts recommend signing the back of the ticket, taking a photo of yourself with the valuable piece of paper, and then keeping it safely in a safety deposit box or safe deposit box at your bank.

However, it’s worth first making sure you know the rules for claiming your winnings in the state where the ticket was purchased.

If you purchased in a state that requires the winner’s name to be shared publicly, you may be able to claim the prize in the name of a trust or other legal entity, thereby keeping your name out of sight public

Also, share information about your windfall with as few people as possible, Irwin said. News has a way of traveling, and long-lost friends or family, or con artists, could turn up on your doorstep.

“Privacy is key,” Irwin said. “This provides security for both you and your family against scammers or others who might start preying on you.”

3. Get professional help

There are some pretty big financial decisions ahead, which make it worth having a team of professionals to help you. This group should include an experienced attorney, financial advisor, tax advisor, and insurance expert.

To get started, you’ll need to decide whether to accept your award as a reduced lump sum or as an annuity of 30 payments over 29 years. Either way, the IRS will take some of it before the money gets to you.

4. Reflect on what lies ahead

If you’ve spent your days working at a job and are planning to quit, it’s worth thinking about the long-term ramifications of doing so.

“If you used to work, there’s going to be a change in your day-to-day,” Irwin said. “Think about how you’re going to spend your days and how you can make sure you still have a purpose in your life.”

Meanwhile, the Powerball jackpot is about $170 million for Saturday night’s drawing. Your chance of winning the first prize in this game is approximately 1 in 292 million.

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About the Author: Chaz Cutler

My name is Chasity. I love to follow the stock market and financial news!