Expert chimes in as lottery jackpots swell

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – There were no winners over the weekend in the two big national lottery games.

That means for the first time since 2018, both the Mega Millions and the Powerball have jackpots over $700 million.

KFOR talked to an expert about what you need to know if you plan on getting swept up in lotto fever.

“There is going to be a tremendous number of people that play and the amount of dollars is just going to continue to grow,” said David Walls.

The attorney from Edmond has represented multiple big lottery winners in the past.

With the Mega Millions at $850 million and the Powerball at $730 million, the temptation of a huge payout is tough to ignore.

“When you have these kinds of numbers, your odds of winning go down substantially,” said Walls.

But Walls says you have to play if you are going to win, and you need to be prepared for the numbers.

If there is one winner for the Mega Millions, that person could take payments for 30 years of roughly $28 million-a-year before taxes. Or they could opt for a lump sum of $620 million and then pay taxes on that sum, walking away with around $350 million.

“Go ahead and take that lump sum. Because most people think, I would rather be in control of my future and my money than to depend on events that are way in the future for me,” said Walls.

Walls says if you win:

1) Breathe

2) Verify the numbers are right

3)Put the ticket someplace safe

“Put it some place secure because if it’s found somewhere, whoever holds it, owns it,” said Walls.

4) Don’t publicize the win on social media.

5) Start assembling a team of legal and financial experts to help with the process

Walls says if you play in office pools or groups with your friends, there’s another step you should follow.

“Make sure that you have written down what everybody’s contributions are, and what the arrangement is in the event that you win,” said Walls

Lottery officials say $300 million is when people really start buying tickets. 

If you are going to play this week, make sure to buy tickets early.

They say lines can get long before Tuesday night’s Mega Millions and Wednesday’s Powerball drawings.

Lottery officials say if you win, sign the ticket.

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