The Powerball jackpot is $454 million. What to do first if you win

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If you’re a Powerball player, there’s a good chance you’ve dreamed about how you’ll spend your money if you hit the jackpot.

With the lottery’s announced top prize of $454 million for Wednesday night’s draw, you might also want to consider what you would actually do if you matched all six of the numbers drawn. Experts recommend that big lottery winners take immediate steps to protect their unexpected winnings.

First, remember that a lottery ticket is considered a “bearer document”, meaning whoever holds it is considered the owner. This means that you must protect him.

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You can take a photo with your winning ticket and then put it in a safe place like a safe deposit box until it’s time to collect your unexpected winnings.

In addition, you can sign the back of the ticket. Just be aware that in some states that do not allow you to receive your winnings anonymously, this may prevent you from claiming ownership of the prize through a trust or other legal entity that will hide your identity from the public.

It is also worth sharing life-changing news with as few people as possible. If you can’t remain anonymous, then you need to consider how to avoid becoming a target for scammers, as well as long-lost relatives and friends.

You should also turn to experienced professionals to help you through the application process and many aspects of securing your windfall. Your team should include a lawyer, financial advisor, tax advisor, and insurance specialist.

This group can help you decide whether to take your winnings in a lump sum or in 30 payments spread over 29 years. Most lottery winners opt for an immediate, reduced cash amount. For this $454 million jackpot, the cash option is $271.9 million.

Either way, the money will be subject to 24% federal tax before it reaches you. For this jackpot, getting cash would mean about $65.3 million being taken off the top. However, additional federal taxes are likely to be paid at the time of taxation, given the top rate of 37%. State taxes may also be withheld or owed.

It’s also worth thinking about how your life will change—and not just from a financial standpoint. Some experts suggest seeking the advice of a financial therapist or mental health professional to help you deal with the stress of winning.

Meanwhile, the Mega Millions jackpot is $43 million ($25.9 million cash) in the Friday night draw.

The chance of one ticket winning the Powerball jackpot is 1 in 292 million. As for the main prize of Mega Millions, it is 1 in 302 million.

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