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How to protect your privacy if you win Mega Millions or Powerball



Mark Ralston | AFP | Getty Images

At least a few people have a chance to be richer than most of us by the end of 2020.

With no lottery to match all six numbers drawn in the millionaires on Tuesday, the jackpot jackpot on Friday night has jumped to $401 million. Powerball’s highest prize is closely followed, with $363 million in the drawing on Wednesday night.

If you are lucky enough to be the next big winner, experts say that part of protecting your windfall is protecting your identity when possible.

“400 million dollars will attract a lot [attention]”

;,” said Kurt Panouses, the founder of the Florida Panouses Law Group and an expert helping lottery winners.

Keeping victory quiet will help protect you from strangers and scammers who want bonuses.

However, states do not always make privacy easy: only a few allow winners to remain completely anonymous. In other cases, you can claim prizes through an unnamed trust or limited liability company or LLC-but you need to plan for this.

The following are tips for big lottery winners trying to maintain their privacy.

Process the ticket

The standard recommendation is to sign on the back of the ticket. However, if you happen to be in a state that allows a trust or limited liability company to receive bonuses, you may want to keep the signature if privacy is important to you.

Panouses said: “Obviously, you want to protect the ticket, but any name on the back of the ticket is recognized as the payee.” “The back of the ticket is important to protect privacy.”

He said that in most states, if you use a limited liability company or trust to claim the money, you can avoid public disclosure of your name.

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Panusas said that he also established a trust, and the beneficiaries are so-called sub-trusts, not winners. This adds an extra layer of privacy protection.

keep quiet

Although you may be eager to share exciting news, experts say that the fewer people you know, the better.

Panouses said: “Narrow the circle to people who know or don’t tell anyone.”

In addition, if you want to fight for victory with other family members, such as through a trust or limited liability company as a joint prize, everyone involved should sign a non-disclosure agreement, Panouses said.

Money management

In addition to choosing experienced professionals to help solve the windfall, if you are worried about the leaks of your victory, it is best to avoid the professionals in your hometown.

Panouses said: “The people in that office can tell others,’Oh, that’s the lottery winner.’ He relies on a large investment and trust company and has a good track record in providing services to wealthy families.

Panouses said: “When I opened an account with them, I knew that the information would not be leaked.”

Plan an escape

After receiving the bonus, it is a good idea to skip it for a while.

Panouses said: “We make sure that the winner has a plan to go another week or so after the request.” “If people find that you have won, they may show up at your house.”

He said that changing your mobile phone number is also worthwhile. If you have a landline, it should also be changed.

If you cannot remain anonymous, you may also want to close your social media account.


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