POLL: Lotto Attorney: Lay Low, Call Financial Planner


Tuesday night's Mega Millions record jackpot stands at $1.6 billion -- with a cash option of $904 million.

The odds of winning the jackpot is one in 302 million, but if you hold that lucky ticket, forget about paying off debt, buying a new home or taking a vacation, because you'll have so much money, you won't know what to do with it all.

“All their credit card bills are going to be a fraction of what they make on a daily basis,” says Jason Kurland, the 'lottery lawyer' who has represented multiple lotto winners.

“I don't blame them,” he says.  “All of a sudden their entire life is going to change overnight, it's hard to change your mindset that quickly as well, it takes a while to grow into what this is all about.”

Kurland says if you win, first sign the back of the ticket, then call a trusted attorney and financial planner and tell no one.

“If you want to give to charity, you can set up foundations.  For estate planning, you should claim a trust.  You just need to understand that if you don't spend too quickly right away, let that money grow, you'll have even more to give away."

He says the winner can expect every person they've ever known, every family member and every group posing as a charity to come knocking on their door.

“You're going to get an insane amount of charitable requests, so just make sure the charity is doing the right thing, that they're formed properly, the money is going to what they say it's going to go to,” says Kurland.

“Really, you could spend the rest of your life just finding the right charities and giving it to them because that's how much money you're going to have.”

If you don't win the Mega Millions, Wednesday's Powerball jackpot is now $620 million.


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