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Saturday, December 9, 2023

Powerball jackpot hits $1.4 billion. What winners should do first

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The Powerball jackpot soared to an estimated $1.4 billion as of Oct. 6, 2023, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association.

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The Powerball jackpot has soared to an estimated $1.4 billion ahead of Saturday night’s drawing — and financial experts have tips for the lucky winner.

As the third-largest prize in the game’s history, the winner will pick between a lump sum worth $614 million or an annuitized prize of $1.4 billion. Both options are pretax estimates.

The next Powerball drawing is Saturday at 10:59 p.m. ET, and the sales cutoff is typically one to two hours before the drawing. The odds of winning the jackpot are roughly 1 in 292.2 million.

The biggest pitfalls for lottery winners are excessive spending, poor investment choices and family members asking for money, said Andrew Stoltmann, a Chicago-based lawyer who has represented several lottery winners. “Saying ‘no’ to family might be the toughest thing that lottery winners have to do,” he said.

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Here’s a look at other stories offering a financial angle on important lifetime milestones.

Here’s what the lucky winner should do first, according to financial experts.

Assemble a team of professionals

Consider a ‘cooling off period’ first

It feels like getting hit by lightning, says former lottery winner Timothy Schultz

The lump sum offers the full prize up front, while the annuity provides one immediate payment, followed by 29 annual payouts that increase 5% each year, according to Powerball.

“Money is an emotional thing,” Loyd said. “And you want to try to minimize making emotional decisions.”

Saturday’s Powerball drawing comes less than three months since a single ticket sold in California won the game’s $1.08 billion jackpot. This is the first time the game has seen back-to-back billion-dollar jackpots. Meanwhile, the Mega Millions jackpot is currently worth an estimated $360 million, and the odds of winning that grand prize is roughly 1 in 302 million.

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