More than $500M in lottery winnings are up for the taking — 3 ways experts say you should handle your earnings

Pile of cash. (PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay.)

How many times have you been asked this question: “What would you do if you won the lottery?”

Most people probably spit out a few go-to answers, but have you ever stopped to actually consider it?

It’s fun to think about, right? Especially because this weekend, the Powerball is at $262 million, and the Mega Millions game is at $264 million.

That’s a total of $538 million, and that, my friends, is a LOT of money.

So, back to that question: What would you do if you won the lottery?

Well, some financial experts have some pretty clear directions to give when it comes to that.

Here are five things experts at Forbes say you should do after winning the lottery.

1. Pay off your debts.

There’s nothing like peace of mind, right? The best way to do that is to have financial freedom — by paying off any mortgage, student loans, credit cards and anyone to whom you may owe money.

2. Find trusted financial advisers.

It’s so important to carefully select people who will be in your inner circle, and you’ll want to ensure that includes financial advisers. Do the vetting and interviewing yourself, check credentials and make sure this person understand your goals.

That includes hiring people who will tell you “no” to spending money any time you want. Keeping a budget will keep you on track, and these experts will help.

3. Create an estate plan.

Coming into a lot of money is certainly a major life change, and when it happens, it’s time to either create or update an estate plan. By doing that, you can ensure you will protect your estate, institute tax planning and set up your heirs.

All of these tips will help, but you have to play the lottery to win the lottery.

On Friday, the Mega Millions numbers will be picked at 11 p.m., for a jackpot of $264 million.

Tickets cost $2 per play.

“Players may pick six numbers from two separate pools of numbers -- five different numbers from 1 to 70 (the white balls) and one number from 1 to 25 (the gold Mega Ball) -- or select Easy Pick/Quick Pick. You win the jackpot by matching all six winning numbers in a drawing,” the website says.

On Saturday, the Powerball numbers will be picked at 11 p.m., for a jackpot $262 million.

These tickets are also $2 per play.

Click here to learn how to play.

So, will you be trying your hand at winning this jackpot?