You didn't win the Powerball jackpot last night, neither did I. On the bright side, you have a 1-in-300 million chance to hit the Mega Millions jackpot tomorrow.

Realistically, you and I won't win that one either. But the jackpot is closing in on a billion dollars, that would take care of a few bills. If you're a lottery player and happen to win a substantial amount of money, make sure you don't do these things:

  1. Don't forget to sign the back of the ticket. In case somebody steals your ticket and tries to cash in, you're protected. You should sign it immediately after winning or if you really want to be careful, sign it now.
  2. Don't tell anyone. People will come out of the woodwork looking for handouts. The bigger concern is who they'll tell. There are horror stories about people winning the lottery, then having their house broken into.
  3. Don't automatically take the lump sum. If you're smart with money, it makes sense because you can use it to make even more money. The problem is most people are not smart about it. Roughly 70% of people who get a huge windfall of cash lose it or spend it all within a few years.
  4. Don't start backing all your friends and family's business ideas. Also don't start buying people cars and houses. You'd be surprised at how fast you can burn through all that cash.

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