The Mega Millions jackpot is $ 345 million. Here are tips on how to deal with the windfall if you win

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Chances are that someone who owns a Mega Millions ticket could become one of the wealthier people in the US

The jackpot for the Tuesday night drawing is $ 345 million (flat-rate cash option: $ 234.6 million). While you might dream of what the money would buy if you owned a ticket, it is also worth pondering how you would deal with a wind blow of this magnitude.

Of course, your chances of winning the grand prize are slim: the chance that a single ticket will match all six numbers drawn is 1 in 302 million.

Even so, at some point – whether Tuesday night or later when the jackpot gets higher – there will be a winner.

If you manage to beat the odds, here are some important considerations and what to do first.

do not hurry

Protect the ticket and your identity

You should also make a copy of your ticket and keep it in a safe place, e.g. B. in a locker or a locker at a bank. Also, be sure to check your state’s laws that allow lottery winners to remain anonymous – some do, some don’t.

Note that while the standard recommendation is to sign the back of the ticket, doing so may compromise anonymity if your state requires the winner’s name to be published. If so, instead of doing so on your own behalf, you may be able to set up a trust or limited liability company to seek the windfall.

Additionally, resist the urge to share the news with everyone in your life right away. Experts recommend keeping the group of people as small as possible.

It is also worth bringing in experienced professionals who can walk you through the application process and help you prepare a budget for the money. This team should include a lawyer, a tax advisor, and a financial advisor.

Lump sum vs. pension

For this $ 345 million jackpot, you have a choice of choosing the $ 234.6 million cash option or a 30+ year pension.

Most winners will choose a flat rate that makes the most financial sense.

“If you take the flat rate, you have more control over that money,” said Boneparth.

But, he said, recognize you.

“When you lack the discipline in investing and spending or you don’t want to deal with it, retirement comes into play,” said Boneparth.

The rudder bite

You can expect to pay a lot – quite a lot – of taxes.

Assuming you used the $ 234.6 million lump sum on this Mega Millions jackpot, the required 24% withholding tax on your winnings would save you $ 56.3 million from the start. That would give you $ 178.3 million.

Or you can count on the fact that you owe Uncle Sam a lot more. The highest marginal tax rate of 37% applies to income over $ 523,600 for individual taxpayers and $ 628,300 for married couples filing together.

As a rule, state taxes are also due, some or all of which can be withheld.

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