So you won the lottery...now what? - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

So you won the lottery...now what?

source: WLBT source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

With the lottery in full swing, many people are dreaming of becoming overnight billionaires.

So, what should you do if you are the lucky winner?

We have a few suggestions for you:

First, if you win, do not publicly announce it.

Attorney Rocky Wilkins said, "There was a case in Chicago in 2012, where a group had a pool at work and two of the workers got left out. On a $181 million dollar jackpot and the next thing you know there's a lawsuit."

He continued by saying, "My recommendation is somebody should stay anonymous. Then go hire a lawyer go hire a tax consultant. Put about half of the money up and let the lawyer deal with the media. Let the lawyer deal with all the  people who are about to come out of the woodwork and remember how good a buddies you used to be in high school."

Second, have something in writing.

Attorney Wilkins explained that oral contracts are much less reliable in court then hand-written contracts.

Thirdly, protect yourself up front before claiming the prize.

Experts suggest that you sign the lottery ticket and put it in a secure place, this establishes ownership. 

The ticket must be signed in order to claim the prize.

Finally, experts suggest that you do not accept the money right away.

It is wise to give yourself time to make important decisions of what to do with the money and hire a financial planner.

If you are the lucky winner, you have 180 days to claim the money from the date of the drawing.

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