What to do if you win Mega Millions

by: Jim Strickland Updated:

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What do you do when you win $640 million? You definitely need a plan, Channel 2 consumer investigator found out while speaking with a metro Atlanta wealth manager and attorney.

Attorney Stevie Casteel represents Erika Greene, a Georgian who won nearly $60 million in the lottery. Greene was just 20 years old when she won.

“The very next morning she went and declared her ticket, so everybody knew who she was,” Casteel said. “It was a mistake.”

Casteel told Strickland that the key is to surround yourself with trusted advisers including a lawyer, accountant and financial adviser. The key is to ward off non-winners who are looking for your money, she said.

Casteel said that a winner should get plenty of insurance against those making a claim, and they should actually set up a legal entity to claim the prize. A limited liability company or a trust can serve as creditor protection too.

Barry Berlin is a wealth manager with Atlantic Trust and a three-time Jeopardy champion. Berlin said there are some steps a lottery winner should take immediately such as unlisting your phone number, shutting down your email and setting limits on impulse spending.



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