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$465 Million May Make Your Life Worse

(Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

Nobody won the Powerball drawing from last Saturday, so now the prize grows to $425 million, the largest jackpot ever for the game. What is the first thing you would do or buy if you had the Jackpot?

I think the first thing I would do is pay off my bills, family bills, and close friends. Give a bump to my favorite charities. Build a recording studio, a good one. Help people who want to become artists to have the means to do so.

Then, it would all be sunk somewhere and I would live off the interest.

A money management person involved with a past winner who still has his money said the first things you should do if you win is: hire an agent, hire a good accountant, hide out for a little bit and let the excitement die down. A past winner was sued by his co workers claiming they helped purchase his winning ticket. People come out of the woodwork claiming to be your family.

I’ve always heard it said, with money comes people, with people comes problems.

I read an article at USAtoday.com, about some of the past lottery winners and their stories.

• William “Bud” Post, who won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania Lottery in 1988, had a brother who tried to have him killed for the inheritance. Post lost and spent all his winnings. He was living off Social Security when he died in January.

• Two years after winning a $31 million Texas Lottery in 1997, Billie Bob Harrell Jr. committed suicide. He had bought cars, real estate, gave money to his family, church and friends. After his death it was not clear whether there was money left for estate taxes.

• Victoria Zell, who shared an $11 million Powerball jackpot with her husband in 2001, is serving time in a Minnesota prison, her money gone. Zell was convicted in March 2005 in a drug- and alcohol-induced collision that killed one person and paralyzed another.

• Evelyn Adams, who won the New Jersey Lottery twice, in 1985 and 1986, for a total $5.4 million, gambled and gave away all of her money. She was poor by 2001, and living in a trailer.

Think carefully if you win, remember who your favorite DJ is (um…..Chris Allen), and be smart with your money.

The Powerball numbers for Saturday were 22-32-37-44-50, and the Powerball was 34.

Some information taken from an article by By Oren Dorell, USA TODAY, with contributions by Bill Welch and USA TODAY research

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