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To the Mega Millions Lotto winner: Congratulations! What now?

Posted at 4:26 PM, Jun 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-08 21:17:07-04

SORRENTO VALLEY, Calif., (KGTV) — You pinched yourself. It's not a dream. You just won the $530 million Mega Millions Lottery. Now what?

"From a financial standpoint they are set," financial planner, Dennis Brewster said. "That's generational money. They should be set for several generations."

But Brewster says that's only if you're smart. To get started, he suggests finding inspiration from within.

"What is it that they want to do? They are going to get tugged in a lot of different directions," Brewster said. "Everybody is going to tell them to do this, or you should do that. I think that's the hard part. It's going to be hard to say 'no.'"

In California, names of winners are made public. That means privacy may become an issue.

"Get a new phone, a new address they're probably going to need a lot of things. That's going to be a challenge," Brewster said.

So if some distant uncle from your mother's side who you never met, but kind of heard about, suddenly calls you to say they love you, you need to set some boundaries.

"At some point, you're going to have to say no," Brewster said. "And maybe they're going to have to get a buffer between themselves and someone else that handles that for them."

Brewster says that could be an attorney or a financial planner — someone they completely trust. Next, will you splurge? Remember, there is always a limit.

"We don't want this to be an unhappy ending. They are so fortunate. Do what you need to do initially, maybe get that out of your system, but then draw a line somewhere," Brewster said.

Will you give to charity or make investments? Whatever it is, do your homework and pay your taxes.

"There are tax-free bonds, for example, where everything is tax exempt," Brewster said. "But don't try to avoid taxes. You want to do what you can and be smart too. Don't get too complicated, trying to avoid something and then create a much bigger problem."

The last piece of advice? Brewster says don't let your 15 minutes of fame destroy you.

"It's that double-edged sword that you're almost trapped by your own fame and fortune, and hopefully that won't happen."

Our local jackpot winner has a year to claim their wins, but only 60 days to choose the $345.2 million lump-sum cash option.