What You Should Do If You Win the Mega Millions

If you win the $1 billion Mega Millions jackpot, here's what you need to know

What should you do with $1 billion?

The already-giant $810 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot ballooned to $1.02 billion after no one matched all six numbers Tuesday night and won the top prize.

Claiming that much money likely also will draw taxes, grifters, and friends and family members, advisers say. 

All that attention means the first and most important piece of financial advice likely is what you should not do if you hold the winning ticket. 

“Don’t shout your win from the rooftop,” Rob Burnette, financial and investment adviser at Outlook Financial Center in Troy, Ohio, said. “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.” 

How much is the jackpot, when is the drawing, what are my chances of winning? 

The $1.02 billion prize is for winners who choose the annuity option, paid annually over 30 years. Most winners opt for the cash option, which for the next drawing Friday night is an estimated $602.5 million.

The single chance of matching all six numbers is roughly 1 in 303 million. Mega Millions tickets – which cost $2 each – are sold in 45 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Why shouldn’t you tell everyone? 


“Some of those scammers have falsely identified themselves as being affiliated with Mega Millions,” Mega Millions said. “These scams all have one thing in common: They try to trick you into sending them money or personal information by claiming that you have won a large lottery prize.” 

No representative of Mega Millions would ever call, text, or email anyone about winning a prize, Mega Millions said. 

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