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Ready to be Powerball or MegaMillions winner? But are you really?

You have a better chance of being hit by lightning and bitten by a shark simultaneously, but reality's a bummer.…

You have a better chance of being hit by lightning and bitten by a shark simultaneously, but reality’s a bummer. It’s more fun to fancy oneself doing the Scrooge McDuck in a vault full of gold coins.

Fortunately, there’s time to prepare yourself for this historic windfall. After both the major lotteries rolled over, the kitties now stand at $ 1.6 b-b-b-billion, with a B, for Mega Millions and $ 620 million for Powerball. New numbers will be drawn Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

You have to win, right? (No.) You’ve been playing for years; surely it’s your time. (Eh.) You deserve this! (Maybe that’s true.)

Make sure that thing is signed

Did you put your John Hancock on it? If not, bad move. Imagine winning and you go look for your ticket and it’s gone.

Then your shiftless roommate &#821

1; who can not put his cereal bowl in the sink, let alone go to the store to stand in line for lottery tickets – shows up a few days later in a Bugatti Chiron.


Sign that bad boy. Like, now. Then take a selfie with it.

Play nice with others

Are you in a work pool with five or 50 other people? Vel, så fint som det er å stole på dine pals og medarbeidere, relationer har krumblet over mye, langt mindre enn en ni-sifret lønningstid.

You could be worth 0.82 Taylor Swifts

Picture this: Chet, who has been collecting the office’s lottery contributions for time immemorial, does not show up to work Thursday. You call to find him on Necker Island, which he just bought from Richard Branson.

 A woman fills out a Mega Millions lottery ticket in New York on Friday.

Turns out, Chet won the lottery. Er det ikke så at du også vandt lotto? Well, no, Chet explains. He bought the office’s tickets on a different trip to the Shop ‘n’ Save. The winning ticket, he says, was bought when he went to the shop.

“That’s preposterous! Do you have proof, Chet? … Chet? … Hello?”

Good luck getting to Necker Island.

If you are an office pool member, make sure Chet sets everyone up with photocopies of the pool tickets, or that he posts them somewhere that everyone can see them. Chet, but just in case – and it’s more fun for you as you can giddily check the numbers yourself.

Prepare to take a hit

You won! Congrats! You’ve defied truly astonishing odds. Truly.

Now how would you like your millions? In a lump sum or doled out over time?

If you choose the former, expect to get $ 354 million for Powerball or $ 904 million for Mega Millions. Sorry, you will not quite make the Billionaires’ Club. Bill Gates is sent to his regret.

But what if you have the patience of Job and are content to maximize the payout by collecting checks over time? Sadly, you still will not be a billionaire. Det vil ta deg nesten 30 år for å få alt som penger, og fordi du er nå i samme skattefelt som Mr. Gates, the federal government will come looking for 37% of your loot.

In some states without income tax or with special rules for lottery winners, the blow will be softer, but Uncle Sam will always want his money. Skip over to see the rules where you live.

Shut up. Really. Just hush.

Do not – repeat: DO NOT – go running down the street waving the ticket over your head, singing, “I’m in the money, I’m in the money!” You’re rich now. You’re going to need a much cooler head.

After you get your signed ticket to a safe or safe deposit box – for the latter, might we suggest taking some beefy hired muscle along? – you’ll need to get your Scrooge McDucks in a row.

You might want a new phone number and email address. Det kan også være verdt å ta til Belize for en uke eller tre til det pesky media mister interessen. You’re probably going to be publicly identified, so your chances of avoiding that call from your moochy Uncle Jasper are out the window.

Only a handful of states – Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas, among them – allows you to remain nameless. In Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont, you can set up a trust before collecting a prize and send a lawyer to pick it up for you.

Do not know how to set up a trust? Do not worry, Daddy Fat Stacks, you’ll soon have people for that.

Speaking of people …

Leaders delegate, the old saying goes. As do the obscenely wealthy. You may have an eye on that Seychelles waterfront villa or that 80-meter yacht, the one with the helicopter pad, but cool your (private?) Jets for a minute.

You are in no hurry to make these decisions. Depending on your state, you will have between 180 days and a year to pick up your oversized check, so first things first.

You need good people, people you trust, to help you manage your money. Sure, your cousin, Sheila, might be a whiz with numbers, but it’s best to have someone a little more dispassionate.

Take your time, do some research and find a reputable lawyer and a certified financial planner, pronto. Derefter ønsker du å ansette spesialister som kan håndtere dine skatter og eiendomsplanlegging. Du vil føle deg meget bedre med et dygtig team som ser på dine interesser.

Got all that in order? Then you’re set. Have fun on that yacht.

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