What to do if you win the Mega Millions

If you are lucky enough to have those winning numbers, before you cash that lucky ticket there’s a few steps you should take.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s easy to imagine all the things you would do if you were lucky enough to win the lottery, but few think about how they would manage the money if they were to actually win.

The  Mega Millions jackpot has continued to grow, and is currently at $454 million. If you are lucky enough to have those winning numbers, before you cash that lucky ticket, there are a few steps you should take.

“Don’t advertise it, try to remain calm. You’re going to endorse it, you’re going to make a photo copy, and you’re going to put it somewhere safe. Usually with a lottery you have between six months and a year to claim your prize. This gives you time, you can contact an attorney, financial person, and an accountant,” Attorney Abbe McLane said.

One of the biggest decisions you will make is whether to take the lump sum up front, or spread out the payments. But that should be a calculated decision.

“If you were to win, you have to consider your age, you have to consider your position in life, how you want to use the money, how you want to invest it,” said McLane.

Some winners have the option of staying anonymous, but here in Massachusetts, you have to come forward.

If you want to stay anonymous, you will have to buy your ticket in another state, only six states allow that, and none of them are here in New England.

The Mega Millions drawing is at 11pm Tuesday, and we will have the winning combination here on WWLP.com and on 22News tonight at 11. For instant results, sign up for Lottery Text Alerts.

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