The estimated Powerball jackpot has soared to $400 million! Nobody matched the five numbers plus the Powerball number to win the $344 million jackpot for Saturday’s (January 2) drawing, meaning the jackpot will roll over into the next drawing, according to the Powerball website.
Thanks to more states participating in multi-state lotteries such as Powerball and Mega Millions, plus changes to the games themselves that make them harder to win, lottery jackpots are getting into the kind of money that would make Scrooge McDuck envious.
— Head Host Jason (@DAFRadio) December 28, 2015
The highest-ever lottery jackpot in the United States, as of this post, was the $656 million Mega Millions jackpot drawn on March 30, 2012. If the current Powerball jackpot stays at $400 million, it will be the ninth-biggest lottery jackpot in U.S. history. The days of lottery jackpots in the hundreds of millions are here to stay, in other words. And lottery jackpots worth over a billion dollars are coming, according to a June, 2015, Time Magazine report. It’s a matter of “when,” not “if.”
“Basically, a $1 billion jackpot is likely to happen in part because the likelihood of anyone winning an individual Powerball is decreasing. The longer that no one wins, the bigger the pot gets. What’s more, as the pot grows, the number of tickets sold grows as well, which in turn increases the pace of the pot’s rise.”
So what should you do when you win that utterly ridiculous amount of bank? Well, if you make the right decisions, play your cards right, and keep a clear head, you probably won’t wind up more broke than you were before you won the Powerball (a fate that seems to befall lottery jackpot winners with alarming regularity).
Most state lotteries, according to Forbes, require lottery winners to reveal themselves and make their pictures available for publicity. That means that everybody — family, friends, neighbors, scammers — will know you’re loaded, and will want a piece of that action.
However, what state lotteries don’t tell you is that there’s a legal way around that: with an hour’s time in a lawyer’s office, you can set up what’s known as a blind trust. You then name yourself the executor of that trust, donate the winning Powerball ticket to the trust, and Voila! You have access to the money but still stay anonymous.
Also, even if you manage to stay anonymous legally, you can still give yourself away if you go from acting like a working stiff to acting like a multi-millionaire overnight. In other words, don’t quit your job and buy a Ferrari — at least, not yet. Forbes writer Deborah L. Jacobs says that taking a six-month “cooling off” period will allow you time to think about what you want to do with your winnings and get a clear plan in place.
Hire A Team
Most 9-to-5 working Americans are simply not equipped for a sudden influx of wealth. And when you don’t know what you’re doing (that is, handling hundreds of millions of dollars), it’s best to hire someone who does. Jacobs recommends hiring a financial adviser, a lawyer, and an investment professional, and having them work together.
Carefully Evaluate The Lifestyle You Want To Live
$400 million is a ridiculous amount of money, and if you win it, you’ll be able to jet-set back and forth to Paris on a moment’s notice, to live in that luxurious beachfront mansion, and sit at the high roller table at Monte Carlo.
But is that necessary? Winning hundreds of millions in the Powerball or Mega Millions will give you opportunities you never had, to be sure. But not all of those opportunities are good ones.
Do indulge your hobbies. Travel. Help out friends and family members who genuinely need it. Give to charity. Do these things, with the help of your team, and you’ll stay rich and have something to leave future generations.
Don’t dive head-first into a world of mansions, yachts, parties, booze, gambling, drugs, plastic surgery, and giving away wads of cash willy-nilly just because you can. Do these things, and you’ll be just as broke as you were before you won the Powerball.
The next Powerball drawing, with the $400 million estimated jackpot, will be held Wednesday, January 6, at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time.
[Image via Shutterstock/karenfoleyphotography]