Florida's "Lottery Lawyer" Shares Tips On What To Do If You Win Big

With nearly $1.5 billion up for grabs in two national lotteries combined this weekend, if you should win there is a lot to consider.

"Who do you tell and how do you keep it as close to the vest as possible?"

Florida attorney Kurt Panouses is known as the "lottery lawyer," after handling several big wins for clients across the state.

He says that he generally recommends that winners take the lump sum payment instead of a payout of the full jackpot amount over 30 years. He says that way you control the money and can immediately invest.

Panouses says winners should immediately hire their own lawyers to help them claim their winnings and guide them through their taxes. Any gifts you purchase for friends or family will be taxed.

Another thing, he says don't spend it all in one place.

"Settle in and the money's in the bank and it's invested. Let's take a look at those things that you need to buy and put the other things off for six months."

Friday night's Mega Millions jackpot is worth an estimated $750 million, with a cash option of $550 million and Saturday's Powerball is worth an estimated $640 million, or $478 million cash.

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