Good luck to all Nebraskans who bought a Powerball ticket for tonight’s $700 million jackpot as you likely will need it. Personal Finance Expert Leonard Raskin says there is a reason why so many jackpot winners end up broke in a few years. He says, “The first thing is all of a sudden you have friends and relatives coming out of the woodwork at you. Pitfall number one – make sure that you don’t become everyone’s financier, best friend, donor because everyone wants a share. Most people think they want to share with people they care about but suddenly you are going to find relative you’ve never met.”
Raskin says there will also be people wanting you to fund start up companies or become an investor. Charities will be ringing your doorbell nonstop and politicians will suddenly want to become your best friend. This is where people get into trouble by simply giving their winnings away.
If luck is with you tonight and you hit the jackpot, Raskin says before spending one dime make sure to get a good attorney, financial advisor and an accountant. He also recommends a psychiatrist and a life coach to help you handle your newfound wealth. Another important lesson is learning how to say “no” and use that word often.
Another bit of advice is not to count your chickens before they hatch. Your odds of winning the jackpot are one in 292 million. Looking at other odds, the chance of getting killed by a terrorist act in the U.S. is 1 in 10 million, getting murdered during a trip to the Grand Canyon is one in 8,156,000 or becoming a movie star is one in 1,505,000. More? The odds of getting struck by lightning is one in 1,101,000, becoming a movie star is one in 1,505,000, dying from a hornet, wasp or bee sting is one in 79,842 or dying from chronic constipation is one in 2,215,900.