Powerball jackpot soars to $800 million

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The record Powerball jackpot just got bigger, climbing to $800 million as sales soared in the days leading up to the drawing.

Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery, says officials with the Multi-State Lottery Association on Friday raised the estimated jackpot for Saturday night’s drawing from $700 million because of strong sales.

Grief says Powerball sales on Thursday were double the previous record for that day and that it’s possible the estimated jackpot could rise again before the drawing.

A winner would have the option of being paid $800 million through annual payments over 29 years or opting for $496 million in cash.

Powerball is played in 44 states as well as the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

So what do you do if you win? Chicagoans are dreaming big.

Donald Duncan and Adam Glassberg are financial counselors at D3, a financial firm with offices in Chicago and Downers Grove. Their advice: “At least have a plan to say how do I make it last. Make that the first criteria and then go with the immediate gratification, The Lamborghinis and that type of thing. And then ultimately you may not think you have to do this but budget. That’s what it comes down to.

Adam and Donald say there are three things we should all remember.

Number one, If you win, don’t tell anybody.

Adam Glassberg, Financial Counselor “Because as soon as you tell people, you immediately have a target on your back.”

Number two, contact a law firm or financial adviser.

Adam Glassberg “Find a law firm that specialized in working with trusts and estates.”

And finally – the most important thing to remember. You’re probably not gonna win. Sorry!! In fact, you’re more likely to be attacked by a shark than win the Powerball jackpot.

Adam Glassberg “I really hope nobody’s anticipating winning this or any other lottery.  When I tell people I’m a financial planner “do you have a financial plan?” Yeah, it’s winning the lottery. For someone who’s spending $20 a week on lotto tickets, if you were to just use that $20 a week and just put that into a retirement account and let grow and compound annually, you’d be shocked to see how much that would grow over a time span of 10 or 20 years.”

So according to the financial experts, forget about the lotto. Start saving. But from the looks of lines at stores with Powerball, nobody’s listening.