How to avoid pitfalls after winning Powerball

by: Blake Hanson Updated:

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The $1.5 billion jackpot is expected to grow to $2 billion if no winners are selected in the drawing Wednesday evening.
 
While many lottery customers are dreaming of what they would buy with the earnings, few think of how they would protect that money.
 
A study from the National Endowment for Financial Education found 70 percent of lottery winners will have lost the winnings in a few years.

MORE COVERAGE: NC lottery to no longer contribute to teacher salaries
 
Eyewitness News consulted with Chris Knight, certified financial planner and owner of Cornerstone Wealth Planning and Gray Langley, principal at Farris, Cooke & Associates.
 
Knight and Langley suggest forming a group of reliable professionals before claiming the earnings.
 
"After you kiss your wife and maybe call your mom, the next thing to do is call your team," Knight said.
 
Experts recommend finding a tax expert or CPA, a financial planner and an attorney.
 
"You're going to be in a place where you have much more complexity to your financial situation than you've ever had before," Knight said.
 
In North Carolina, you cannot claim your prize anonymously. A bill that would have changed the law failed in 2015.
 
South Carolina is one of six states where winners can claim their prize anonymously. 

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