Mega Millions jackpot: What to do if you win
ORLANDO, Fla. - The Mega Millions jackpot for Friday night was up to an estimated $1.35 billion – making it the second-largest prize in the history of the game. Of course, your odds of winning aren't great, but that doesn't mean it can't happen.
The winning numbers drawn on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, were white balls 30-43-45-46-61, plus the gold Mega Ball 14.
Florida has only had the Mega Millions game since 2013, and since then, there have been four jackpot winners. The last one was in October 2022.
What happens if you look at your ticket and find out it matches ALL the winning numbers? After you're done jumping up and down and screaming, you should do a few things before you rush to the lottery office to claim your winnings.
Financial advisor Justin Bickerstaff says securing your ticket is the first thing to do.
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"You want to make lots of copies of it, and then you want to put it in a safe deposit box or someplace safe like that."
Despite what you may have been told, Bickerstaff says you don't want to sign the back of the ticket.
"The reason is you have the potential to claim it anonymously and stay out of the limelight and not be a target in the public eye," he explains. "Different states have different rules, but you could potentially do something like create a trust, have the trust claim the winnings, and then you could be anonymous."
He says also to make sure you create a professional advisory team made up of an accountant, attorneys, asset protection attorneys, and a wealth management team.
And as tempted as you are to run and claim your money right away, he says don't rush.
"You have some time, so don't panic. Think it through. Think clearly."
You also want to avoid shouting it from the rooftops or posting on social media that you won. Keep it to yourself.