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The Mega Millions jackpot recently reached $656 million, almost double the previous record for the highest jackpot ever won. The old record was $390 million and also held by the Mega Millions. There were three lottery ticket winners to the massive jackpot – so nobody will actually have the luxury of spending the entire $656 million. Nevertheless, even split three ways the individual jackpot still comes to a whopping $218 million, an amount most people would be happy enough to spend. Without a doubt, winning the lottery is lifetime dream for millions (or maybe even more like billions) of people. However, it is important the Mega Millions winners be financially responsible with the winnings to ensure they maximize their enjoyment out of the money for many years to come. None of the winning ticket holders have come forward yet, which is the right move on their end. It is recommended to keep the winnings to yourself until you actually have the money in your hands so that you can have time to come up with a viable plan for yourself. The winners should hire a reputable lawyer to assist them the many legal considerations they have ahead of themselves. Before claiming their prize, the Mega Millions winners should carefully read the instructions on their lottery ticket and the official Mega Millions lottery website to ensure they are correctly following all the rules and regulations. They will need to sign their name on the back of the winning ticket, photocopy both sides of the ticket, and find a trustworthy bank where they can rent a safety deposit box to keep the ticket in. The Mega Millions winners should be prepared to be bombarded by all kinds of media once they come forward. However possible, they should try and protect their privacy. Their lawyer can provide legal solutions to keep their identity private. For example, they can create a blind trust in order to collect the money and stay anonymous. Winnings can be collected either as a lump sum (all at once) or through annuity (payments distributed over years). Winners should speak with their lawyer about the tax ramification of each. Likewise, giving money to charity will benefit them tax-wise because they are not liable for the gift tax. So, in case the winners did not feel grateful to society or a moral responsibility to give back, they actually have a monetary incentive to give back. Besides all the recommendations specific to winning the lottery, the Mega Millions winners should follow general financial recommendations for anyone suddenly coming into money such as considering keeping their day job, investing wisely, and not spending too much too quickly.
Author Bio: Austin Weaver is a writer for theLotter, where you buy tickets and find out results for popular lotteries such as Mega Millions, EuroMillions, Euro Jackpot and more.