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What to know in case you beat the odds and win the Mega Millions jackpot

mega millions 1 billion
Posted at 9:59 PM, Jul 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-29 23:15:55-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — The Mega Millions jackpot is now at more than $1 billion. No one has won since April.

In the last few days, many have been dreaming about being the lucky winner. The reality though is the odds of winning tonight's drawing are staggering: one in 302 million.

But in case you're just that lucky acquiring millions overnight, this will lead to huge life changes.

"This money could be generational wealth where not only do you benefit from it for the rest of your life, but it passes down for generations," wealth adviser Myles Zueger said.

To ensure that happens, Zueger said the winner should get help from a trusted team.

"You need to probably have a financial planner in place to handle the investment side of it. I would also recommend having an estate attorney or some attorney to be able to help you set up various trusts or documents for whatever your situation looks like. Then I think a good CPA or tax attorney as well," he said.

To avoid blowing the money away in a few years, experts also recommend limiting big purchases.

"I think one thing you should do just to maybe get it out of your system is to go buy a couple things that you've always said you always wanted to do. Whether it was a really fancy car or a big house and just know hey I'm gonna get it out of my system by making a couple big purchases and then get with a team who can get you pointed in the right direction," Zueger said.

Winners also need to be cautious of Uncle Sam.

"If you win a billion dollars, or whatever it's at right now, you're probably giving up 50 to 60% of that to taxes pretty much right away," Zueger said.

And if you're wondering if you should choose the lump-some option or the annuity, Zueger said it all depends on your ability to manage money.

If you don't trust yourself not to spend it all the annuity option might be best. Cashing it all in though, could make you richer in the long-run.

"If you take all of the lump-sum up front and you invest it and you earn a certain rate of return over that same 30 years you actually end up with more money by taking the lump-sum," Zueger said.

For more information in case you win, you can visit the TN Lottery's website.