What to Do If You Won the $149 Million Powerball Lottery

The Pennsylvania Lottery announced on Wednesday that it sold its first jackpot winning Mega Millions lotto ticket from the Tuesday, May 20, drawing. Someone just became incredibly wealthy — it was a $149 million jackpot.

The Mega Millions jackpot had been rolling since the most recent jackpot was won in California on April 4. What will drive so much interest here is that the ticket has an annuity value of $149 million or a cash value of $86.1 million. Then there is that 25% federal withholding to consider.

24/7 Wall St. wants its readers, and the incredibly lucky lottery winner(s), to understand that with great fortune also comes great responsibility. In fact, we have even created a simple 12-step plan of what to do (and not do) for the lucky winners.

The question that lottery players should ask themselves, outside of whether they should really be buying lotto tickets, is what to do if they win?

This action list is actually not much different from a plan for someone who just won an unexpected judgment or unexpectedly inherited millions. The aim is that by presenting it in a “what not to do” manner, it will help prove the points easier outside of financial industry jargon.

Can you imagine winning $149 million or even a fraction of that amount, only to end up in the poor house in a few years? It happens, and it happens frequently. 24/7 Wall St. does not wish for that to occur to anyone.

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A 1980s movie called “Brewster’s Millions” portrayed how difficult it was back then to spend $30 million in 30 days and end up broke. It would be incredibly easy to do that today, maybe even just in a few days. Can you imagine winning the lottery and a vast fortune, only to end up as the laughingstock among all of your friends and family?

Our list of the things to do (or not to do) includes how to protect yourself from others, and how to protect you from yourself. Seeking immediate tax and financial planning is a must, even before you go pick up that check and start spending your new king-making fortune. Setting expectations and a budget you have to follow is a must, otherwise that poor house would just love to suck you back in.

The jackpot-winning ticket was sold at White Oak Gas & Grocery, 1100 Fawcett Ave., McKeesport, Allegheny County. The winning ticket correctly matched all five white balls, 10-40-63-64-69, plus the Megaball, 07. The retailer will receive a $100,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.

Congratulations to that winner, and please don’t ignore the lessons.

ALSO READ: The Money Behind the Kentucky Derby — Hundreds of Millions (or More)

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