Identities of the three winners of Wednesday's world-record $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot remain unknown to date, but it was revealed the winning tickets were bought in Florida, Tennessee and California. The trio overcame odds of 1 in 292.2 million to land on the numbers drawn Wednesday night, 4-8-19-27-34 and Powerball 10.
CPAs encourage lottery winners to have a firm financial plan in place before announcing their good luck. The minute winning tickets are turned in, everyone finds out and winners should have a strategy figured out beforehand regarding taxes, finance divisions and real estate consequences.
Powerball tickets are sold in 44 states, as well as the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, reports The Chicago Tribune.
Religious beliefs posed barriers to this type of gaming in Alabama, Mississippi and Utah. Alaskans are concerned a lottery wouldn't pay off in such a sparsely populated state. In Hawaii, lawmakers have proposed lottery measures, but the idea consistently hasn't passed. Nevada representatives indicate they would rather protect interests in their casinos, without more competition.
What will these new winners of instant fortunes now have to navigate through? Lotto representatives recommend winners first sign the back of tickets! Following are some other tips:
1. Put the ticket in a safe place. Over the years, New Jersey Lottery spokeswoman Judith Drucker said she has heard of big jackpot lottery winners putting their tickets everywhere from in a fireproof safe in the middle of a Bible.
2. Contact closest family members or friends to confer with them, and make sure everyone is on board with the news of the win.
3. Contact a financial advisor, accountant, or someone trustworthy to discuss the implications of the huge influx of cash.
4. Call the Lottery Commission in your state. You will be invited to lottery headquarters so the ticket can be verified.
5. Winners then file a claim form and have their tickets verified and validated. The whole process takes about an hour.
U.S. Powerball winners during 2015 came from the following states: Tennessee, Michigan, California, Missouri, Florida, Arizona, Puerto Rico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Texas.
According to the Multi-State Lottery Association website, privacy and security matters are vital. The policies follow:
The Multi-State Lottery Association collects demographic and player-specific information for the "My Powerball" feature to provide an extra service to our users. Non player-specific information that is also collected and includes general usage information on our site (number of page accesses, the frequency of page visits, the number of unique visitors, etc.) and is used to enable us to provide the best quality of service possible. The Multi-State Lottery Association will also occasionally survey Multi-State Lottery Association website users for their opinions on new games, game changes and other matters of interest to lottery players.
MAINTAINING SECURITY PROCEDURES
The Multi-State Lottery Association maintains strict security procedures to protect the confidentiality of our visitor information. Our employees must abide by our privacy policies and have access to visitor information only for business purposes. If an employee is found in violation of our policy, disciplinary actions are taken.
Information collected by the Multi-State Lottery Association is not sold or distributed outside of the Multi-State Lottery Association.