Someone’s got some big-time cash coming their way if they pick their Mega Millions or Powerball numbers correctly. Tomorrow night’s Mega Millions jackpot is estimated to be worth $850-million, and Wednesday night’s Powerball will be estimated at $730-million. With odds of 1-in-302 million (Mega Millions) and 1-in-292 million (Powerball), it’s not like it’s a guaranteed score, but it’s still nice to dream…and worth thinking about how you’d prepare for your newfound windfall.

Since most states give you six months to claim your winnings, look at that as your preparation window.

  • Your first move should be putting your emotions to the side and put together a trustworthy team of experts and advisers who are smarter than you are. This should include a financial lawyer, a CPA, and a financial advisor.
  • Also, keep that ticket safe. Don’t put it in a sock drawer or in your car’s glove box. Think, at the very least, a lockbox…or even a safety deposit box at your bank.
  • Your first instinct will be to blab to everyone about your winnings. DON’T! Keep a low profile and stay quiet to protect yourself from the leeches, scammers, or family you didn’t know you had, and the media attention.
  • Brace yourself for the taxes. Make sure you set aside that money, so you don’t get into trouble later because you were careless.
  • Charity is a great way to do some good for your community and lessen your tax burden. You could even set up a foundation like many athletes do, contribute to it, and decide how that money gets disbursed later.