With Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot reaching record heights, many have spent $2 to try their luck for the big prize, which was raised to $1.5 billion on Tuesday. But what would happen if you actually won the lottery? What should you do?
“First of all, don’t tell anybody.” Robert V. Bolen, President of Envision Wealth Planning in Brentwood, said, adding that winners should tell the people closest to them, but keep it at that until the person lets it sink in.
“As soon as you turn it in, your life’s gonna change.” Bolen explained. “People are going to interview you, people are going to start calling you, all your long lost, forgotten friends and relatives and neighbors and perfect strangers will come calling with their ‘woe is me’ story.”
If you win, Bolen suggested getting the winning ticket to a safe place before claiming the prize, even go as far as to take a selfie with the ticket to have proof it’s yours, then talk to an attorney and a CPA before turning in the ticket.
“Plan out the next year, 5 years, 10 years.” Bolen said. “Think about what you want to accomplish, that’s a huge amount of money.”
One of the main things that a winner has to decide is whether they want to take the lump sum of cash – which as of Tuesday evening was $930 million, or whether the winner wants to take a portion of the $1.5 billion jackpot each year for 30 years.
$1.5 billion divided by 30 years is still $50 million per year before taxes.
“If you think you’re going to blow it if you have $900 million sitting there that you can blow, you may want to get it overtime.” Bolen explained. “Clearly if you’re 70, you may not want to get it over 30 years, unless you want your kids to get it.”
Money can change a person, according to Bolen, especially the amount you could win from this jackpot, but he said if you approach it right, the money can enhance your life. “Maintain your core of who you are and what you want your life to be about,” he said.
For more information on the Powerball jackpot, you can visit the powerball lottery website.