The ‘Dos & Don'ts’ of Winning the Powerball Jackpot

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Dos and donts of winning powerball
  • Author:
    Shaun Greer
  • Published:

Here is the ultimate guide of “do’s” and “don’ts” after winning the Powerball jackpot.

There are often tips and insights about playing Powerball. But what happens when you win a Powerball jackpot? You’ll be faced with a host of decisions to make the second you realize your numbers match. Today, we’ll cover the ultimate list of “dos” and “don’ts” after you win the Powerball jackpot.

What You Absolutely Should Do After Winning the Powerball Jackpot

There are preventative steps you should take immediately when you know your numbers match. What you do next could impact your Powerball jackpot claim and secure the best outcomes.

Sign Your Ticket

The very first thing you simply have to do is sign the back of your ticket. This ensures that no matter who’s holding it, the possession of the ticket is yours. To go a step further, you could even use your smartphone to video the winning ticket as you sign. It’s an added layer of confirmation that you’re entitled to the Powerball jackpot. If you ever had to argue your ownership of the ticket in court, your signature and photographic proof of your possession could be your only recourse.

Safeguard Your Ticket

Once you’ve signed your winning Powerball ticket, you’ll want to preserve it until you’re able to claim your prize. Getting it wet, dropping it, or accidentally losing it could cost you the jackpot. Some suggest placing your ticket in a waterproof bag or container. You’ll want to put it in a safe place, maybe in a safe itself, to protect it until you’re ready to collect your winnings.

Call a Financial Advisor

Before you visit your local lottery office or call to claim your prize, you’ll want to contact a financial advisor. If you have someone in mind with expertise in investments and finance, start with that phone call first. If you don’t know anyone, you will want to make sure you select a representative with certification, credentials to manage wealth and experience. A professional opinion can help you decide how you want to collect your Powerball jackpot. Some states allow for a trust to be set up to claim the winnings instead of an individual. And you’ll have to decide between payments or a lump-sum cash-out option.

What You Shouldn’t Do After Winning the Powerball Jackpot

Some Powerball jackpot winners made mistakes that led to problems, and in some cases, cost them thousands of dollars. Here are a few things you don’t want to do when you realize you’re a Powerball winner.

Avoid the Spotlight If You Can

You’ll be excited and maybe feel like calling friends and family to tell them the great news of your win. But the experts and past winners will tell you to keep the news to yourself until you’re officially able to claim your winnings. You could be the target of theft, or worse, if you tell the world, you have a winning ticket you haven’t cashed in yet. And once you’ve collected your jackpot, staying out of the news and local headlines as best you can, will reduce your risks of falling prey to scammers and fraud attempts.

Don’t Start Spending Before You Cash In

Most Powerball jackpots are life-changing amounts of money. But don’t get ahead of yourself and start spending before you have a plan. When you immediately cash in, you may feel empowered to start spending and investing in cars, things, and trips. You’d be surprised how many past winners ran out of money within the first year. Getting carried away, based on excitement and impulse, could leave you hanging without a long-term plan.

Don’t Quit Your Job Just Yet

There are stories of past Powerball winners who, upon matching their numbers, stormed into the office to tender their resignations. In one case, the winner actually misread his numbers and presumed to have landed the jackpot when in fact, he hadn’t. But before he verified his ticket, he stormed into his workplace and made an elaborate scene before quitting his job. Needless to say, when he realized he couldn’t retire on his actual $50,000 winnings and tried to get his job back, things didn’t quite work out for him. The moral of this Powerball jackpot-winning “don’t” is never burn bridges and don’t quit your job until you’re certain you’re financially ready to retire.

Now that you know a few basic "dos" and "don'ts" when winning the Powerball jackpot, all you have to do is actually win!

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