Check your ticket! Numbers drawn for massive $1.28B Mega Millions jackpot
UPDATE: The winning numbers for the July 29 Mega Millions drawing - 13-36-45-57-67, Mega Ball: 14, Megaplier: 2
As Long Islanders bought Mega Millions tickets Friday with the hopes to win the $1.28 billion prize, News 12 Long Island spoke with a financial expert on what to do if you win the jackpot.
Financial advisor Mitch Goldberg says step one is to sign the back of the ticket, take pictures and put it in a very safe place.
Some pool their money with friends, pick up a ticket, take a photo and send it to each other. But it's more complicated than that, according to Goldberg.
"You can't say, 'Hey, you know, I bought the ticket with 20 people and we're all going to take a piece.' No, the person who has the ticket gets all the money. So, therefore, you have to make sure the money goes into a properly set up account like a trust or an LLC, and then that money is then taken out of it and distributed the way the trust was set up," Goldberg explained.
The next piece of advise Goldberg has is to enlist the experts.
"Call your accountant and you put together a team of professionals in order to properly claim your money," Goldberg said.
He said then all the attention will be focused on the winner.
"You will have TV crews and strangers, all kinds of people you haven't seen in years. It's just going to come out of the woodwork. So what you really need to do is focus on privacy as much as possible," he said.
Goldberg said a third of all lottery winners actually go broke.
"Many, many people, if not, most, have poor personal finance habits, and if you aren't good with your personal financial habits, when you don't have a lot of money, you're not going to automatically better when you have a lot of money," Goldberg said.
Goldberg also recommended taking the lump sum up front unless you're worried you will blow through the money all at once.
In that case, you may want to break it up into yearly installments.