Here are 4 key things to consider if you actually hit the $1.28 billion Mega Millions jackpot

1. Breathe

Instead of hurrying to the lottery headquarters to claim your prize, relax and take a deep breath. You have some time to claim your prize — anywhere from three months to a year, depending on where you bought the ticket.

Irwin stated, “Take a moment to pause before you make any major decisions.” “This is the calm period before the chaos.”

2. Protect your ticket — and your privacy

Experts recommend signing the ticket on the back, taking a photograph of yourself with the valuable slips of paper, and then safely storing it in a safe deposit box or lockbox at your bank.

It is worth learning the rules to claim your win in the state that you purchased the ticket.

If you purchased it in a state that requires the winner to be publicly identified, you may be eligible to claim the prize under the name of a trust, or other legal entity. This will keep your name from being public.

Irwin advised that you keep your information private and share it with as few people possible. News has a way of traveling, and long-lost friends or family — or scammers — could show up on your doorstep.

Irwin stated, “Privacy is key.” “This provides safety for you and your family against scammers and other individuals who could prey on you.”

3. Get professional assistance

You will be making some very important financial decisions. It is worth having a team of professionals to help you. The team should include an expert attorney, tax advisor, and insurance expert.

You will first have to decide whether to accept the prize as a lump sum, or as an annuity of 29 payments over 29 year. The IRS will take a cut before the money reaches your account in either case.

4. Think about what lies ahead

It’s worth considering the long-term consequences of quitting a job you have worked hard for.

Irwin stated that if you had worked previously, there will be a change in your daily life. Consider how you will spend your day and how you can ensure you have purpose in your daily life.

The Powerball jackpot is estimated at $170 million for Saturday’s drawing. The odds of winning the top prize is 1 in 292,000,000

Source: CNBC

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