A Mega Millions player in California has turned a $ 2 ticket to $ 530 million.
In the Friday night game, a single ticket sold in San Diego matched all six winning numbers. And while California isn't a bad place to win – the state doesn't pay tax lottery – the lucky person (or group of people) won't be able to remain anonymous.
California law requires the name of lottery winners to be published. But experts say protecting your privacy is one of the most important ways to protect your fall against fraudsters and lost friends or relatives seeking a dispensation.
The reduced cash alternative ̵[ads1]1; which most lottery wins are with – for this jackpot is $ 345.2 million. Even after the 24% federal tax deduction of $ 82.8 million, the winner will have about $ 262.4 million (although more federal taxes will be due to the tax period).
The good news for this winner is that California gives a full year to claim the prize, which means there is plenty of time to plan a claim strategy. Experts recommend putting together a team of professionals who have experience dealing with lottery winnings and big winnings – a lawyer, an accountant and a financial advisor – to decide when and how to claim your winnings.
Here are tips for big lottery winnings to try and maintain a sense of privacy.
Your first urge may be to share your exciting news with, yes, the world. But the fewer people know, the better. This is the case if you can claim anonymously or not.
"It may obviously be impossible to keep this from the immediate family, but news like this goes fast," said Jason Kurland, a partner of Rivkin Radler, a law firm in Uniondale, New York. "Try to keep the circle to people who know as little as possible."
Going Off the Internet
If you don't want to be able to remain anonymous when you collect your winnings, turn off social media accounts in advance, said Kurland, who specializes in helping lottery winners.
"The media will try to find as many pictures of a winner as possible, and social media is the first place to see," Kurland said. "You will also make sure there is so little personal information out there like your phone number or your address."
While a particular snooper or scammer could probably track that information, you won't make it easy for them. If you have a landline phone, make sure it is not listed before going to the lotto headquarters.
Schedule a Flight
Even in states that allow you to collect your winnings anonymously, lottery members may be legally allowed to disclose the city where you live.
"Anyone who wants to look around to see who uses more, who finishes the job, who takes big holidays," Kurland said. "Winners should enjoy their newly created fortune, but if anonymity is a major concern, it can be a difficult strike to strike."
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