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How should you use Mega Millions jackpot money? Ashwaubenon financial planner gives advice

Mega Millions Jackpot
Posted at 9:53 PM, Aug 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-08 23:31:13-04

ASHWAUBENON (NBC 26) — Lottery fever is in the air, as the Mega Millions jackpot has grown to an estimated $1.58 billion.

Nobody has won the Mega Millions jackpot since April 18, allowing the prize pool to grow.

The $1.58 billion jackpot is the largest in Mega Millions history, and the third-largest ever.

The odds of winning the jackpot are a whopping 1 in 302.6 million.

So, should someone hit the jackpot, how would they use it?

"Probably go on a shopping spree," Emily Fassbender of Green Bay said. "Invest the rest. Maybe get a nicer running trail in Green Bay."

"I would stop working for sure," John Laux of Green Bay said. "I'd pay off my kids' student loans. And I'd donate a lot of money to charity...I don't need that kind of money to live the next 20 to 30 years of my life."

But, how should someone use all that cash?

Miranda Bonde, a financial planner with Guided Path Financial in Ashwaubenon, said it's really about personal preference.

But she advises to think long-term.

"There's a lot of different places and opportunities to put your money, so that it can continue to build," Bonde said.

Bonde said if an individual hits the jackpot, she recommends keeping a close circle of people they trust, including a financial planner, attorney, and certified public accountant.

"Take time to make the decisions that you want to make, and look at the whole picture," Bonde said.

According to the Wisconsin Lottery, a winner cannot remain anonymous because the state has an open records law.

"Which is kind of unfortunate, because that really exposes you to a lot of hands reaching out for those dollars," Bonde said.

The Wisconsin Lottery explains that it must release the name and city of the winner, and that other information about the winner can be released only with the winner's consent.

If you do end up becoming the big winner, Bonde advises getting a new phone, and having a close friend keep your old phone.