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The Mega Millions raffle $685 million this Friday. Here are four recommendations in case you win


Although winners' first reaction may be to share the news with everyone, discretion is likely to your advantage. And remember: a piece of paper is easily misplaced, and without a ticket, there is no money.

By Sarah O'Brien -


Winning $685 million in a lottery wouldn't be a bad way to end the year.

And that is exactly the amount that the Mega Millions draws this Friday.

The jackpot has been accumulating in value since Oct. 14, when it was reset to $20 million after two tickets, sold in Florida and California, matched all six numbers to split a $502 million prize.

While the chance of a single ticket hitting the jackpot is small (approximately one in 302.6 million),

it's worth considering how to deal with such a lucky break.

Mega Millions lottery tickets at a store in Manhattan. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

“The stress level is pretty high,” said Susan Bradley, a certified financial planner and founder of the Sudden Money Institute in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

“And that can be pretty tough.

Most lottery winners lose sleep for a while."

In other words, winning the lottery isn't as simple as claiming the prize and continuing to live as usual.

If it turns out that you got the winning ticket, you may find these recommendations useful.

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1. Breathe

There is no need to rush to the lottery headquarters to claim the prize immediately.

Depending on the state where you purchased your ticket, you

have between 60 or 90 days

, or up to a year, to claim it.

You'll also need some time to think about how to handle this huge amount of money, said certified financial planner Janet Stanzak, founder and partner of Financial Empowerment in Burnsville, Minnesota.

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2. Keep your ticket safe

It is important to protect your ticket.

Experts recommend taking a photo with the valuable sheet of paper and then

storing it in a safe place, such as a safe deposit box.

"Protect your ticket," Bradley advised.

"People can lose tickets, and without a ticket there is no money."

In general, it is also recommended that you sign the back of the ticket as proof that it belongs to you.

Before doing so, though, it's worth making sure you're

aware of the rules for claiming your prize in the state where you purchased it.

[A Mega Millions ticket purchased near Chicago wins $1.337 million jackpot]

Some states allow the winner to remain completely anonymous.

But if you purchased the ticket in a state that requires the winner's name to be made public, you can avoid identifying yourself by claiming the prize in the name of a trust or other legal entity.

3. Tell as few people as possible

While you may be eager to share your good fortune, experts

recommend keeping the information in your inner circle.

This means telling, perhaps only your immediate family or a trusted friend.

A customer enters the Speedway gas station in Des Plaines, Illinois, where the winning ticket of the 1.337 million Mega Millions raffle was sold on July 29, 2022. Nam Y. Huh / AP

“It's best to only tell people you trust who are going to have your back,” Bradley said.

News travels fast and lost friends or family, or scammers hoping to profit from you, could suddenly show up on your doorstep.

4. Build a team of advisors

Earning such a large amount of money means having to make important financial decisions.

Therefore, it is worth having a team of professionals who can guide you.

That group should include an experienced attorney, financial advisor, tax advisor, and insurance expert.

One of the first big decisions you will face is whether to claim the jackpot as

a reduced lump sum or in annual installments over three decades.

Either way, the IRS (and the state, if it deducts taxes for the lottery) will take their cut before you get your hands on the prize.

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In any case, the amount you end up with is likely to be far more than most people see in a lifetime.

[They played Mega Millions and promised to split the prize if they won.

They are now “over the moon” after claiming $1.337 million]

“Ask yourself what that award means to you and the people you care about,” Bradley said.

Meanwhile, another jackpot is raffled this weekend.

The Powerball jackpot is $246 million ($128.5 million in cash) for this Saturday night.

The probability of a ticket winning the jackpot is one in 292 million.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2022-12-31

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