Financial adviser warns consumers of pitfalls of winning lottery

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It’s what everyone is talking about. The Mega Millions jackpot is now worth the most it’s every been, $1.6 billion.

The last big jackpot won in Tennessee was in 2016 when a Munford couple walked away with over $528 million and bought themselves a 10 bedroom home.

But this time the stakes are a bit higher, which means it will take more financial responsibility to handle.

“The immediate decision is, ‘Do I take a lump sum payout or do I get an annuity payout?”

John Laughlin, a financial adviser for Summit Asset Management, says if you win the money you should of course find an adviser.

And the first financial step is choosing if you prefer $913 million immediately or $1.6 billion paid out over about 30 years.

“For most people, getting that one large sum of money can make it really difficult for them to adjust and they make bad decisions,” Laughlin said.

So could this big of a jackpot be too much money?

Laughlin says there are many lottery winning cases where people blow their dollars by overspending on things that don’t last.

Then, before you know it you’re in debt.

“It can really ruin your life if you’re not sort of mentally and emotionally equipt to handle it,” Laughlin said.

And if you plan on spending money on your loved ones, Laughlin says you may want to think smart and responsibly.

“Really, the number one way that people end up losing money is friends and family.”

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