When you win the Powerball jackpot with an annuity jackpot of over a billion dollars what's the first thing you should do?

The Powerball jackpot grew for the 34th drawing in a row Saturday to the fourth largest annuitized amount in U.S. lottery history at $1.55 billion ($679.8 million cash). The numbers drawn Monday were white balls 47, 54, 57, 60, 65 and red Powerball 19. The Power Play multiplier was 3X.

The New Jersey Lottery said six tickets worth $50,000 each were sold in Aberdeen, Delran, Denville, Livingston, Manalapan and South Plainfield.

Powerball sign
Powerball sign (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media)

Team Winner assemble

Even if you don't win the jackpot the New Jersey Lottery recommends signing your winning ticket, taking a picture of both sides and put it in a safe place before taking it to lottery headquarters. Toms River certified financial planner Lou Scatigna, also known as The Financial Physician, advises waiting to make that trip and taking steps to prepare for massive changes to your life.

"The first thing you need to do is shut up," Scatigna told New Jersey 101.5.

"You can't let people know your fortune. A lot of times you'll see people on TV three days after they win. That's probably the biggest mistake you can make because you're not mentally prepared for the onslaught of press you're going to get as well as people who want to take advantage of your fortune."

The spotlight will also bring unwanted calls from financial advisors, people looking for investors in their business, stock brokers and lawyers all looking for your money.

"The key here is to surround yourself with a great accountant, a great financial planner and a great lawyer that have experience with things like this to make sure you're counseled properly and you don't do anything without vetting it through your personal committee," Scatigna said.

NJ Lottery Powerball card
NJ Lottery Powerball card (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ)


Winners in New Jersey also have the option to remain anonymous and completely out of the spotlight.

A bill signed in 2020 by Gov. Phil Murphy requires the state to keep the identity of prizes over $600 private, including documents that come under the state's Open Public Record Act.

Winners are still responsible for all state and federal taxes. The state will share the winner's identity with state agencies to check for unpaid obligations such as child support and taxes.

Wednesday's Powerball drawing is at 10:59 p.m. The Mega Millions drawing is Thursday at 10:59 p.m. Both drawings are on ABC 7 and Fox Philadelphia.

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