LOTTERY DREAMING: What to do if you win

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Tonight’s $700 million Powerball jackpot is the second largest ever, and the odds of winning a ticket have never been worse. The chances are only one-in-292 million, and it’s possible that nobody will win and the jackpot will increase again.

But…

It sure is fun to dream. Many locations sell tickets for as little as $2, and a $350 million return on that investment is something everyone would sign up for. And it turns out that one of the premier lottery locations is in Springfield.

"I've never worked in a store where we sold this much lottery," Karen Clouse says. She’s the general manager of the Kum and Go on west Republic road. That store is one of just 51 in the state to sell more than $1 million worth of lottery tickets in 2016.

"Since I got here at 5:30 a.m. we've sold loads of tickets,” she says of the rush to get last minute tickets Wednesday. “It's been nonstop all day long."

If you do win the big bucks, it’s important to know what to do with it.
"The old saying is if you get a million dollars someday you'd better become a millionaire,” Dean Young of Heim, Young and Associates says. He’s worked with clients who’ve gotten large sums of money at once, and says most people don’t know how quickly it can disappear.
"You're going to be in the top tax bracket, which is a little over 40 percent federal and six percent state,” He says. “For simple math, figure that about half of your net winnings are going to income taxes of some sort.”

But wait, there’s more.

“There's also an estate tax, which you don't pay until after you're gone, but you might want to think about talking with an estate planning attorney as well and get some estate planning done rather quickly. That estate tax can be almost half again of what you're left with," Young said.
That’s how $700 million can become $175 million without you spending a cent.

"Having a financial plan and knowing what you want to achieve in the next one, two, three, or four years is key,” Young says. “Beyond that, and creating something worthwhile for down the road, and helping others. Not only can it cut down on the income taxes, but it can also create legacy and a way for that money to really mean something for when you're gone."