Expert advice: What if you win the Powerball?

Posted at 10:31 PM, Jan 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-13 22:39:32-05

If you win the Powerball Jackpot you will be flooded with advice from people likely working an angle. This advice from a financial expert who has helped at least one major lottery winner is free.

"First thing is sign the ticket, just secure your ownership of that ticket," said Financial Advisor Scott Snow.

But while your ticket is golden, Snow says so is your silence. "One of the most important things that I feel the person should do is remain anonymous when claiming the prize because their world won't turn as much," he said. "So someone doesn't have everyone coming out of the woodwork asking for money."

Anonymity wasn't an option in 2004 when Snow represented a South Euclid woman who won $162 million in the Mega Millions Lottery. "The only reason anyone knew I was even working with the lottery winner is it was public record about 12 years ago," he said.

"I'll tell you what it was a very trying few days when claiming the prize and then being paged in the office on an ongoing basis every day because my name was really associated with the winner so they came after me to see if they could get a meeting with the lottery winner."

It's important, he said, to seek out an attorney and financial advisor to help you navigate the waters a winner faces but don't tell them right off you won the lottery.

"Just tell them you're dealing with a large sum of money, find out what their typical profile is that they work with and then interview them. "

Snow works with high net worth clients and he said he'd tell a lottery winner what he already tells them.

"You really need to prioritize your financial goals, objectives and concerns and really the hard part here is staying grounded through this whole process.

"I would encourage everyone on an annual basis to write down those financial goals, objectives and concerns and after you win the lottery they really shouldn't change that much. And if they do, that's where I'm concerned about someone staying grounded and making poor financial decisions that could have pretty disastrous results," he said.


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