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Here's what financial experts say you should do if you win the lottery

What would you do with $654 million?
What would you do with $654 million?
What would you do with $654 million?
Posted at 4:30 AM, Oct 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-16 06:44:05-04

CINCINNATI -- What would you do with $654 million? The Mega Millions lottery drawing is Tuesday night, and the Powerball drawing -- worth $345 million -- is Wednesday. Both offer fun chances for would-be winners to fantasize about the lives they'd have post-jackpot.

"I’m going to help others, first of all, and then finally get me the car I always wanted and then the home away from the snow, and I’ll be living life," player Joyce Morgan said.

It's a nice thought, but the high rate of lottery winners who plunge themselves into deep financial trouble suggests one shouldn't launch into living out their fantasies right away. So what should they do?

"Well, after the celebration dance, you’re going to want to be as discreet and low-profile as possible," Legacy Financial Advisors accountant and financial planner Matt Aquilla said.

Suddenly having money doesn't mean suddenly gaining an in-depth knowledge of best financial practices. Aquilla said it’s also important for anyone experiencing such a large windfall to create a plan with a team of experts, including accountants, attorneys and financial planners.

That plan could mean setting up trust funds for the kids and calculating the family's next tax bill.

"Some of it is withheld immediately, and you might have some due on April 15th the next year," Aquilla said.

Sound like a headache? Don't stress too hard. The worst thing about the lottery might also be the best: It's a one-in-300-million kind of problem.