This is the face value of the jackpot before the Friday night draw. Still, whether you choose to receive the prize as an annuity spread over three decades or as a reduced lump sum of $ 291.1 million, it wouldn’t be as simple as swapping your ticket for the loot and moving on. to live as before.
“This amount is absolutely life changing,” said Walt Blenner, lawyer and founder of the Blenner Law Group in Palm Harbor, Florida. “Everything in your life is going to change and there is no turning back. “
Here are some mistakes to avoid to help you transition smoothly to extreme wealth.
“Tell as few people as possible,” he said. “When the word gets out, it spreads quickly. “
The ultimate goal should be to protect your identity as much as possible. Some states allow you to claim your prize anonymously, while others may allow you to create a trust or entity to claim the money, thus keeping your name out of public view.
When Blenner represented the winner of a $ 451 million Mega Millions jackpot in 2018, he had to stress the importance of disappearing before the public knew who won (in Florida lottery winners cannot remain anonymous).
They were hesitant, so he ended up telling them that ransom and kidnapping insurance was available. It hit them, and they rented a house 20 miles away under a pseudonym.
Rushing to claim the prize
Trying to go it alone
“You absolutely need a team around you,” he said.
For example, there may be ways to minimize your tax bill. While 24% is withheld from big lottery winnings for federal taxes, the top marginal rate of 37% means you owe a lot more.
A team member should also serve as a keeper. That is, they can respond to requests from moochers, scammers, or anyone else looking for a portion of your windfall.
It should be noted that most people will never have to worry about these things. The chance of a single ticket reaching all six numbers drawn in Mega Millions is approximately 1 in 302 million. For Powerball – which has a jackpot of $ 183 million for Saturday night’s draw – your odds of winning the top prize are slightly better: 1 in 292 million.