What to do if you win the Powerball jackpot

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The record-breaking Powerball jackpot has climbed to $1.5 billion ahead of Wednesday’s drawing. If you’re the one lucky enough to take home the colossal prize, a local expert has some important advice on handling the news.

“Sit down. Take a deep breath. Relax, and take a glass of their favorite something to drink,” said tax and estate planning lawyer Richard Gregory.

Next, Gregory says the winner should tell their immediately family, but ask that they keep it under wraps.

Rhode Island and Massachusetts are among the majority of states required by law to release the name of winners, even if you’ve asked to keep it confidential. With all the newly-acquired money and attention, Gregory said your next step should be to hire a lawyer.

Photos: What are you more likely to experience than winning the Powerball jackpot?  »
Photos: What are you more likely to experience than winning the Powerball jackpot? »

“The reason to call an attorney is to buy yourself some time so that you’re sheltered from the storm,” he explained.

The big winner should also sign the winning ticket immediately. If it falls into someone else’s hands unsigned, they could claim it’s theirs.

Gregory also reminded us that tickets expire a year from the drawing date.

Finally, and this may be the most difficult step of all, Gregory says to play it cool.

“Get up the next morning, go to work just as though nothing at all had happened,” he said.

Once you’ve taken the time to plan and think things though, Gregory said you should claim your prize in two weeks time.

WPRI 12 is your official Powerball station and the best source to learn the winning numbers. You can watch Wednesday night’s historic drawing at 10:59 p.m. – right before Eyewitness News at 11. 

WPRI.com will also have you covered – posting the winning numbers as soon as they’re drawn. If you want the numbers sent right to your phone or tablet, download the Eyewitness News app and signup for push alerts.

Download or upgrade the WPRI 12 Eyewitness News app: Google Play | Apple App Store

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