Win a Powerball Prize? 4 Things You Should (and Shouldn't) Do

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  • Author:
    Shaun Greer
  • Published:

If you’re lucky enough to be holding a Powerball ticket with winning numbers, these are the next steps you should (and shouldn’t take) as a Powerball winner.

Imagine you’re holding your Powerball ticket in disbelief that your numbers match those drawn. Whether you’ve managed to match enough numbers to win $50,000 or you’ve scored a life-changing Powerball jackpot, you’re over the moon excited. And you should be. But before you start calling friends and family or making any decisions, there are a few things to know. If you win a Powerball prize of any size, these are the do’s and don’ts to ensure you make the most of the moment and every new dollar you win.

1. Tell Your Other Half, Your Attorney, and Your Financial Advisor

Don’t Tell Anyone Else Yet.

As excited as you are about your Powerball prize win, keep the news to yourself. Experts and past winners advise you to keep the big win between yourself, your other half, and your trust attorney or financial advisor to start. Let a professional tell you what to do next and provide actionable insights to help you make the right decisions. Getting premature about sharing the big win, especially before you’ve had a chance to turn in your Powerball ticket, could open you up to risks. For example, you could lose or misplace your ticket, or worse, you could fall victim to theft or scams.

2. Be Mindful to Carefully Consider Every Decision

Don’t Rush Yourself.

You’ll feel rushed to get your Powerball ticket turned in and money in the bank. This is especially true if you’re experiencing financial hardships right now. But resist the temptation to rush ANYTHING. Take as much time as you need to seek professional advice, establish a savings plan, and outline the next steps. Check your winning state to know how much time you have to officially come forward to claim your prize. Then, be thoughtful and diligent about getting professional advice, financial planning, and deciding how you plan to come forward. Rushing is a byproduct of emotional and impulse decision-making, neither of which are ideal for Powerball winners.

3. Plan Ahead Financially

Don’t Quit Your Job Yet.

It would maybe be a blessing to win a Powerball prize big enough to securely take you into early retirement - never having to work again. But the reality is, even Powerball jackpots don’t last forever. And you’ll want to carefully plan your finances, expenses, savings, and spending well in advance before jumping to any job-ending decisions. A financial advisor can definitely help you create a strategy for stretching every dollar and financing your goals and lifestyle. Don’t be quick to quit your job or make long-term decisions without financial planning first. In fact, most experts suggest jackpot winners wait a few months before spending any of their money, allowing time to mentally, emotionally, and financially adjust to the windfall.

4. Make Your Dreams Come True

Don’t Try to Make Everyone Else’s Dreams Come True.

Yes, you’re absolutely right to spend your Powerball prize cash however you see fit. And by all means, make your dreams come true! Buy the new car, pay off the debts, and sign for the new house. However, don’t “dream” recklessly, and recognize your limits. Additionally, don’t be swayed by needy friends and family who may expect you to fund their dreams, too. Help where you can help. But don’t subscribe to financing others’ lives in lieu of your own.

Keep these do’s and don’ts in mind should you one day become a Powerball winner. These small decisions can make a big difference in how successfully you save, invest, and spend your Powerball prize. Planning thoroughly and carefully considering your options is the best way to make your cash prize last and still fund your goals and aspirations.

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