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Start Planning & Don’t Blow It: How To Avoid Pitfalls Of Winning The Powerball

Wealth Manager Advises Don't Just Wake Up And Quit Your Job Or Buy A Boat
Powerball tickets (file/credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Powerball tickets (file/credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

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MORRISTOWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- So picture this: You’ve won the half billion-dollar Powerball jackpot.

But then what?

Wealth manager Michael Steiner with RegentAtlantic Capital in Morristown, said you may want to hold off on telling your boss where to go and even wait six to nine months before collecting your winnings.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg Reports


“Just ensure that the money is protected and that you’re protected,” Steiner told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg. “You end up walking around with a huge target on your back.”

Experts said that even if you have the winning ticket in your hands, try to contain yourself.

“That’s really tough. I’d say invest in some really thick pillows to scream into,” Steiner said.

Steiner said you shouldn’t wake up the next morning and quit your job or buy a boat. Instead, he advises you get an accountant, lawyer and financial planner.

“Holding off and really not making any significant decisions for at least six to nine months as the winner settles in to what their new lifestyle is going to look like,” he said.

Steiner also said that, ideally, you should keep your money discreet because “what you don’t want are those predators coming at you,” including “creditors, third parties and potential combative ex-spouses.”

“There are far too many stories of people who have won the lottery and managed to blow it,” he added. “Start planning and get up and go to work the next day.”

Manhattan-based tax expert David Selig offers similar advice, recommending the winner or winners go for the more conservative annuity instead of opting for the lump sum payment.

WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond reports


“We represented two multi-million lottery winners, one of which had rendered themselves entirely indigent. They were borrowing money against their projected earnings,” Selig told WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond.¬†“If you take the lump sum, you’re looking at approximately one-third of the face amount, slightly less.”

Selig concurred that the first step for the eventual Powerball winner or winners should be to hire a lawyer and an accountant before spending a dime.

What do you plan to do with the money if you win?¬† Tell us in the comments section below…