What To Do If You Hit The Powerball Jackpot


KENNESAW, Ga. (Jan 12, 2016) — Wednesday's Powerball jackpot is worth more than a billion dollars.

The chances of winning the top prize is slim to none. You have a much better chance of being hit by lightning more than once in any given year (1 in 960,000 according to the National Weather Service) than you do of winning the billion dollar prize, which shakes out to a chance of about 1 in 292 million.

However, if you do get lucky, would you know what to do?

"Hire a really good lawyer and a really good accountant and a really good financial adviser immediately," says Jeffry Netter, the chairman of the University of Georgia's finance department.

After getting the proper team in place, Netter recommends investing some of the money into something relatively safe, like government bonds.

Speaking of the government, some of the winnings will go toward taxes, and that includes some of the money that is shared with others.

“There’s no restriction to giving money to people, but there are some tax consequences and there are some limits to how much you can give to individuals as just a gift without actually incurring a tax on that as well,” says Marshall McComb, a financial lecturer at Kennesaw State University.

But it appears the taxman probably won't prevent some people from being generous.

“36 percent say providing extra for their family is what gives the most joy when it comes to money.  You may change, I think any of us would change to win that size of money. But through this survey, we still feel like family comes first and that’s what brings a lot of joy,” says Justin Sullivan, an Atlanta-based investment adviser at PNC Financial Services.

If you win Wednesday's Powerball, you could either take a lump sum or have the grand total doled out annually for the next 29 years.

- WABE.org