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What happens if you win the now $640M Mega Millions jackpot? | News

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What happens if you win the now $640M Mega Millions jackpot?
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SACRAMENTO, CA -  Do you have your ticket yet? 

The clock is ticking for you to get your Mega Millions lottery ticket.  The jackpot now stands at a whopping $640 million. 

The drawing is set for Friday night at 8 p.m. PDT.  All together, 42 states are taking part in Mega Millions.  And the frenzy is growing about as fast as the jackpot itself.

So let's play into your fantasy and say you win it big.  What do you do next?  Albert Woodward, a certified financial planner, has some advice.

First, says Woodward, sign your name on the back of the lottery ticket.  Make yourself a copy, then place the ticket in a sandwich bag and immediately deposit the winning ticket in a bank safe deposit box.

Second, he said, call the telephone company and get an unlisted number.  Share that number with just close family members and your professional advisors.

Woodward then suggested you consult with a certified financial planner who has experience with lottery winners.  Together, you both will prioritize your goals and put together a spending plan.

You can find a good CFP agent at www.cfp.net.

Once you do all of that, Woodward said: Get out of town!  Take at least two weeks off to let the reality of the win soak in, and maybe stay with a close friend or relative.  He said this will help you avoid the hoards of reporters and well-wishers who are very interested in you (suddenly). 

When you and your financial advisor are ready, Woodward said then you should retrieve the winning ticket from the safe deposit box at the bank, and go to the state's lottery office.  Take two forms of photo identification with you.  And let lottery officials know how you want to claim your winnings.

Woodward suggested you do not publically announce your good fortune and instead to keep it private, if you can.

Finally, Woodward recommended you initially deposit  your winnings into an insured, federal, or state tax-free money market fund.

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