Is today the day one lucky winner finally hits the Mega Millions jackpot? If they do, the prize should be worth roughly $1.6 billion. Or, should you choose, you can take the lump sum payment of approximately $913 million dollars.
Alright, let’s take a look at the winning numbers:
Winning numbers: 28 – 70 – 5 – 62 – 65
Mega Ball: 5
If you bought a big stack of tickets, remember you can get through the pile checking for winners easily with the PA Lottery mobile app. Within the app, there is a scanner that can do all the legwork for you.
What to do if you win
Before you tweet a picture of your winning Mega Millions ticket to the world, ask yourself whether or not you want everyone in the country knowing you are now a billionaire.
Earlier this year, a New Hampshire woman won a $560 million Powerball jackpot. She wanted to remain anonymous but had already signed the back of her ticket.
In the end, a judge did rule in the woman’s favor. However, if you want to avoid a legal headache, here is what you should do.
Do not sign the back of your ticket
Most Lottery employees will tell you the safest way to protect your winnings is to sign your ticket. That way, should someone take it, they will not be able to redeem it.
However, if you want to avoid having your name all over the news, your better bet is to leave the back of the ticket blank. Before you announce to all your friends and family, make sure your ticket is in an extremely safe place.
Now that you’re a billionaire, you can afford to hire a lawyer
Then, before you call and tell Grandma, call a lawyer. It will be well worth the expense so you know your options. For example, if you do remain anonymous, an attorney can help you form a trust to accept the money through.
Moreover, when you consult with a lawyer, you can find out the pros and cons of taking the lump sum payment vs a yearly annuity. That is unless you are in a state like Texas, which requires you to stipulate how you want to be paid when you buy the ticket.
When it comes to the Pennsylvania Lottery, you do not have to specify up front. However, you should be aware they are required to hold 25 percent of your winnings in taxes.
And you should probably hire a financial planner too
Surprising as it may sound, many lottery winners end up right back where they were financially before they won.
While it may make financial sense to take the lump sum, many people can’t resist to spend or gift the money out. While the annuity loses you some in the long term, getting it doled out in pieces can help you keep sensible about your finances.
The general advice around handling your Lottery jackpot sensibly is to not make too many changes too quickly. additionally, remaining anonymous can keep all those folks from your past who want to ask if you can spare a dime…or a million…from being able to find you too easily.