I didn’t win the $758.7 million Powerball jackpot.

You can’t win ‘em all, right? At least the winner came from Massachusetts, so that’s something we can all share in. But somehow, I’d rather share in the winnings.

Anyway, shortly after it was announced that someone in Massachusetts hit the jackpot, I came across an article entitled “5 things the Powerball winner needs to do.” Here are the five to do’s:

  • Keep the ticket close. (Makes sense to me)
  • (The author says a lottery winner shouldn’t present his or her ticket to the powers that be before contacting an attorney, financial planner and accountant. Good advice.)
  • Remain anonymous if possible. (Makes a lot of sense to me.)
  • Choose a lump sum or annual payments. (Here the author is referring to the importance of basing this decision on the advice of professionals, such as tax advisors, attorneys, accountants, etc. Again, sound advice.)
  • Take a deep breath. (The author advises not to fill your driveway with Teslas immediately but instead think about your legacy and perhaps make charitable contributions for the betterment of society. I think that’s a great idea, too.)

Unfortunately, last week’s winner didn’t get the memo. We all know who she is, where she worked, and where she lives (or maybe “lived.”) Presumably, she’s heard from quite a few dear friends and family she didn’t know existed until her name and picture appeared in the media. Did she get an email, text, tweet, voice mail or good old-fashioned letter from someone claiming to be her best friend in kindergarten—you know, the one who always happily shared her last cookie with the Powerball winner? I can’t be certain, but I suspect there were a few messages along those lines sent to the winner.

Now, I’m not saying that by failing to follow the five to do’s for Powerball winners our fellow Massachusetts resident is destined for a starring role on the show “The Lottery Ruined My Life.” She’d have to squander an awful lot of money to merit an appearance on that show.

But as an estate planning and elder law attorney, I do hope she works with qualified, ethical professionals to effectively manage and protect her windfall. In fact, a few of the tips offered in the Powerball article are equally applicable to planning for future generations and addressing the important question of whether or not they are equipped to handle sudden wealth.

To read the Powerball article I’ve been referring to in its entirety, visit https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/24/5-things-the-powerball-winner-needs-to-do.html.



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