Financial planner on what to do if you win the Mega Millions

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — The Mega Millions jackpot continues to grow, now at just under $1.3 billion, hours before the big drawing. The first prize awarded tonight is the second largest in the history of the game.

What should you do if fate makes you the lucky winner?

Jesse Landis is a certified financial planner at Landis Financial Advisors in Lancaster.

He says that if luck is on your side, you won’t actually go home with a billion dollars.

“Unfortunately no, you have to factor in the taxes. It’s 37 percent for federal taxes, so Uncle Sam’s going to be in your pocket for that and then you also have a Pennsylvania state tax, which it’s a flat rate of 3.07%,” said Jesse Landis, a certified financial planner with Landis Financial Advisors. .

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Landis says you should do these three things immediately after you win.

“You definitely don’t want to pull out your phone and start posting on all social media. That’s just going to open you up to fraud and harassment,” said Jesse Landis. “You’ll want to contact a qualified attorney and then also talk to a certified financial planner like myself.”

In Pennsylvania, staying anonymous isn’t an option, so while it wouldn’t be a bad payday, remember that not all lottery winnings end well.

“A lot of lottery stories don’t end up being positive because people blew and threw away their money. I think having personal accountability and also a good team behind it is really essential,” Landis said.

So what would you do if you won the grand prize?

A Lancaster resident chimed in.

“I would pay off a bunch of debt, buy real estate, some property and make sure everyone in my family is great,” said Francisco Ramos of Lancaster.

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About the Author: Chaz Cutler

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