4 things to know if you win Powerball or Mega Millions

Tips on Winning the Lottery

It's fun to dream about winning a lottery jackpot, but those who do win must be prepared to make serious decisions. Here are four things to keep in mind if you do beat the odds and hit the jackpot, according the Fiscal Times.

Put the ticket in a safe place

If you're holding the winning ticket, sign it immediately, and then just as quickly put it in a safe place. Losing it would be stressful.

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California man lost his ticket and could not claim a $1 million prize.

Don't go shopping yet

The Fiscal Times advises that it is important not to make reckless spending decisions if you win the Powerball. A suggestion is to put the cash into a savings account or another safe investment where you have easy access. Let the money earn some interest while you decide what to do with it.

Be wary of 'experts'

Plenty of people will be offering you advice, from well-meaning family members on one end of the spectrum to scam artists on the other. Hiring an expert is a smart move, but be sure the people you hire have experience working with large amounts of cash. The Fiscal Times advises checking out businesses that help people who have recently come into large sums of money.

Don't forget to pay taxes

The government will be asking for its cut of the bounty. According to lottery site USAMega, a single person winning the $435 million jackpot would pay approximately $68 million in taxes if they took the estimated $273.1 million lump-sum cash payout. State taxes also could come in to play.