One wish in many people's minds is to win the jackpot in the next Lottery drawing and that can be worth over $600 million. That is A LOT of money. With great management you and your heirs will never have to worry about money for many, many years
As soon as people know you have won that kind of money, they will descend upon you like vultures, wanting a piece of it. The first precautionary step is to sign at the back of the ticket. So whoever signs the ticket and presents a photo ID can claim the money.
Here are the other things that you should do:
1. Stay anonymous if your state rules allow it.
Once information is out there that you have become really wealthy, charities, strangers, long lost friends and relatives, financial "experts" will bombard you with so many requests. In New York winners' names are public record but elsewhere it may be possible to stay anonymous for your own peace of mind.
2. Consult a tax expert before cashing the ticket
You can either take the lump sum or have it paid out over 26 years in form of an annuity. As a lump sum you have to pay the tax on the entire amount but in form of an annuity. You pay taxes on the annuity payments you receive. If you have a spending issue, the annuity is best suited for you. Know all the pros and cons.
3. Pay all your debts
This is the first thing you should do with the money. Pay your credit card debt and mortgage bill and be free from those. This way you avoid the interest to be paid on the loans.
4. Don't engage in sudden lifestyle changes.
Don't just quit your job the next day or buy a huge mansion. Budget your money first. We all want to celebrate after winning big, so set aside cash for that. As for the big purchases, do them later after thinking through those decisions.
5. Invest carefully.
Don't invest all that money in one thing. Invest it in various forms of investments like equities, bonds (fixed income) etc. Avoid investments you don't understand and those which sound too good to be true. You don't want to end up losing all your winnings.
6. Live within a budget.
If you are not used to handling a lot of money, have some control in your spending. Spend income and not principal and that way you will be safe.
7. Give back to charity.
Giving back to charity is like a way of saying thank you to nature for giving you this huge advantage over other people. You can consider a donor advised fund then make a charitable donation. Afterwards, you can claim a federal tax deduction for your contribution