ORLANDO, Fla. - Update: The winning numbers in the estimated $1.28 Mega Millions jackpot are in. They are 67-45-57-36-13, Mega Ball: 14, Megaplier: 2
The Mega Millions jackpot is the second-highest prize in the game’s history. But what do you do if you win all that money?
You can't just turn in your ticket, stick a billion bucks in the bank and call it a day. There are a few things experts recommend you do to have all your ducks in a row should you become a billionaire.
SIGN THE LOTTERY TICKET
Once those numbers are read, and you jump up and down with joy, sign your winning ticket immediately. You can even sign it when you first buy it just in case. That way if you lose it, your name is on the ticket in case someone tries to claim it.
DON'T ANNOUNCE IT ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Yes, you are excited, and you want to rub your good fortune in everyone's faces – but do you really want everyone asking you for a piece of the pie? More importantly, do you want scammers to know how much money you're about to get? Do yourself a favor and save your next TikTok video for something else.
"Don’t shout your win from the rooftop," Rob Burnette, financial and investment adviser at Outlook Financial Center told USA Today. "If you’re lucky enough to win the lottery, keep it quiet. Get organized and make a plan. Consider staying anonymous, if it’s a possibility."
CHOOSE: LUMP SUM PAYOUT OR ANNUITY PAYMENTS
The Mega Millions annuity is paid out as one immediate payment followed by 29 annual payments. Each payment is 5% bigger than the previous one. The cash option gives you a one-time, lump-sum payment that is equal to all the cash in the Mega Millions jackpot prize pool, which for Friday's drawing, would be over $648 million.
Keep in mind, Mega Millions claim periods range from 90 days to one year from the draw date, the lottery said.
Word will most likely get out about your good luck, so you can expect your old homecoming date or long-lost cousin who you've never spoken to in your life to suddenly want to be your best friend. For this reason, it's important to have the right team of legal and financial advisors in place to help you hold on to your money. Forbes suggests finding a reputable attorney with experience in trusts and estates to help you claim your prize and structure your assets.
"You may consider a licensed financial advisor who can help you manage your investments, pursue charitable interests and achieve your financial life goals," Forbes says.
DECIDE IF YOU WANT TO BE ANONYMOUS
Florida lottery jackpot winners of $250,000 or more will have three months to get their finances in order before their names go public. Some winners claim their lottery prizes through a legal entity like a trust to remain anonymous. You should consult your lawyer about rules and details involving claiming lotto prizes through a trust.
Here are the answers to frequently asked questions ahead of the next Mega Millions drawing.
WHAT TIME IS THE MEGA MILLIONS DRAWING?
The next Mega Millions' jackpot drawing is Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022 at 11 p.m. ET.
MEGA MILLIONS TICKET COST
They are $2 each, and players can add a Megaplier for $1 more per play to increase their non-jackpot winnings by up to five times.
Players can either pick up a Mega Millions payslip and select five numbers from 1 through 70 to play, and a Mega Ball number from 1 to 25 – or pick a quick pick ticket and let a terminal randomly choose the numbers.
WHEN IS THE DEADLINE TO BUY A TICKET IN FLORIDA?
Floridians have until 10 p.m. ET. the night of the drawing to purchase a ticket, according to the Florida Lottery's website. (Therefore, you have until 10 p.m. Friday, July 29, to buy a ticket for the latest drawing.)
Tickets purchased after 10 p.m. will be for the next drawing.
HOW TO CHECK YOUR MEGA MILLIONS NUMBERS
The Mega Millions website has a tool that allows you to check your tickets for the past five years. Just input your six numbers, choose a date range, and it will tell you if you are a winner!
HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU GET AFTER TAXES IF YOU WIN?
With a jackpot of $1.1 billion, it's safe to say that no matter how much in taxes is taken out, you'd still be sitting pretty on quite a sweet chunk of change in the end. But in case you want to start calculating your potential take home dollars now, we've tracked down some online lottery payout calculators for you to play with.
Use the Mega Millions after-tax payout calculators HERE.