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What to Do if you Hit the Mega Millions Jackpot Tonight
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If you are planning on purchasing a lottery ticket for tonight’s record-breaking lottery drawing, you might want to have a plan set in place in the event that you win the largest jackpot in the history of the United States. Make sure you do not spend all of the money within a couple of years of winning it.

The first piece of advice is to sign the back of the ticket so no one besides you can cash it in for the winnings. Take a photo of the ticket and then store it in a safe or another spot you know of that no one will know to look.

Do not begin to call all of your relatives or friends when you realize you have won. Not long after your name hits the media you will be bombarded with requests for money from long-lost relatives and charities. You have waited your entire life to hit the lottery so you can wait just a little bit longer before you start spending the money.

  
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It is in your best interest to hire a lawyer and a financial planner if you do not already use them. Consulting with these people along with multiple bankers can help you understand the money you have won and what you can do with it after taxes.

The best way to keep your money in your account for more than a couple of years is to take the annual payments. Statistics show that nine out of 10 winners spend all of their winnings within five years or less if they take the lump sum payment instead of the annual payments. By choosing annual payments, you are taxed only on the money as it comes in, which sometimes turns out to be a lower amount than taking the lump sum payment.

Do everything in your power to conceal your identity if you win the jackpot. There are some people out there today that make a living off of scamming others so be sure to keep your identity as low-key as possible. Hundreds of people will contact you looking for money in an emergency, for a handout, or to invest in their money-making scheme. “There are people who do that for a living. Unless you understand that, you can become a victim very quickly,” says Steve Thornton, an attorney from Bowling Green, Ky.

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Winning the lottery brings with it a goal to help others as much as possible, especially family members and close friends. Make sure you practice extreme caution as much as possible when handing out your winnings to others. A contractor from West Virginia, Jack Whittaker, won a Powerball lottery of $315 million in 2002. “If you win, just don’t give any money away, because the more money you give away, the more they want you to give. And once you start giving it away, everybody will label you an easy touch and be right there after you. And that includes everybody,” Whittaker.





 

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