The Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots continue to soar after no winners in recent weeks, and the two combined are now worth over $1.3 billion.
Saturday night’s Powerball jackpot is now $430 million, after Wednesday’s drawing failed to yield a winner for the top prize.
The winning numbers were 3, 57, 64, 68 and 69, and the Power Ball was 15.
Meanwhile no one hit the jackpot on Tuesday night in Mega Millions, so the drawing will be worth at least $900 million on Friday — the game’s largest jackpot ever.
The numbers drawn on Tuesday were 69, 45, 61, 3, and 49, and the Mega Ball was 9.
That drawing was worth $667 million, the third biggest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.
The previous Mega Millions record was $656 million, shared by winners in three states in 2012. The estimated cash value of Friday’s drawing is now $513.4 million before taxes.
The biggest all-time lottery jackpot was a $1.6 billion Powerball prize in 2016.
If you decide to try your luck, make sure you know what to do in case you land the big prize.
Keep the win a secret
You just won millions of dollars — and you want to scream it from the mountain tops.
“Once you’re announced as the winner, the sharks will start circling,” Kristen Euretig, financial planner and founder of Brooklyn Plans, told Business Insider.
Only six states allow the winners of the lottery to keep their identity private, but there are ways to make sure your ownership of the jackpot isn’t public.
Your jackpot win is on a need-to-know basis, and your second cousins and coworker’s roommate don’t need to know. As soon as they find out, everyone you know could be asking for a slice of the pie.
Announcing your big win on social media can have serious consequences as soon as every person you went to high school with suddenly wants to chat. Even if you are a person who loves helping others, it is foolish to hand money to any person who asks.
If you end up sharing your winnings with every acquaintance and old classmate, your earnings can really start to suffer and the victory could become less glamorous.
Find professional help
Next, hire professional help. Far too often, big time lottery winners don’t know how to handle their newfound wealth and squander it away.
Euretig said winners shouldn’t “get too many designs about your next moves until you can work with a financial planner who will assemble your team of experts to best advise you on your options.”
A financial planner can help you decide whether to take the lump sum or annuity payments. They can also help you plan your spending and make plausible decisions, like investing and saving for retirement.
“It may seem like you have an infinite amount of money to work with, but before you understand the tax implications and options, it’s best to hold tight,” Euretig said.
In addition to a financial planner, a lawyer would be a good person to have on your team to help with legal problems that may arise from winning the lottery.
Right now, hiring a lawyer and financial planner may sound expensive, but after winning a fortune of almost half a billion dollars, consulting fees are a small price to pay for security and peace of mind.
Can non-US citizens play? What if a non-US citizen wins?
Yes, non-US citizens can legally play, and non-US citizens are eligible to win any prize offered in the game.
If a non-US citizen wins, they would claim their prize in the same manner that a US citizen would, but the taxes withheld would be different. For example, federal withholding for non-US citizens is a flat 30%.
Also, individual states may have different tax structures for non-US citizens than they do for US citizens.
Depending on which country the person is a legal resident of, there also may be tax treaties between the US and that other country which could be helpful in offsetting whatever the US tax liabilities are.
In short, non-US citizens can play and win Mega Millions. If a non-US citizen wins a large prize, they will be responsible for some amount of tax, which in the end will probably be an amount similar to what a US citizen would pay, but there are so many possible variations with international tax codes that you’ll need to consult with a local tax attorney if you need to know a precise amount of tax liability.
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