Signing Ticket One of Many Tips to Handle Huge Lotto Jackpot
COLUMBIA - People throughout the country Tuesday night will pull lottery tickets off of their refrigerators and out of their wallets and purses to see if the numbers printed match the ones drawn to award the $586 million prize. It's the second-largest prize in lottery history, approaching the $656 million record set in March 2012. Lottery officials say the jackpot could reach $1 billion by Christmas Eve if no one claims the cash.
While the odds of winning the big prize as of Tuesday morning were 258,890,850-to-1, Missouri Lottery offers some big lottery payouts, up to $1 million. Missouri has awarded the second-most Mega Millions jackpots in the lottery's 27-year history.
Lottery officials urge people to sign their tickets once they are purchased. If tickets are purchased in a group, the person who signs the ticket will receive the payout. Officials say winners should also find a lawyer or accountant who has experience handling large sums of money. They can help people make decisions, including dividing the prize, or whether the winner should take the prize in one sum, or smaller payments over 29 years.
Winning the lottery can also cause attention, sometimes unwanted. An adviser to other lottery winners told CNN he urges winners to keep a low profile until each move is appropriately planned. Winning tickets are valid for 180 days after the numbers are drawn, so lottery winners will have plenty of time to accommodate their new stack of funds.