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Mega Millions next estimated jackpot is $750 million, second highest in game's history

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More than a $1 billion at play for lottery jackpots
Posted at 9:31 PM, Jan 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-13 01:29:59-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Tuesday's $625 million dollar Mega Millions Lottery drawing didn't turn up a winner, but it did boost its next jackpot to an estimated $750 million -- the second highest prize in the game's history.

The Mega Millions and Powerball lotteries have a combined jackpot of more than $1 billion, with the Powerball drawing scheduled for 8 p.m. Wednesday.

What does one do with all that money?

Fantasies of a dream home, new car and fancy vacation are likely just that, fantasies.

Just consider the odds. There is a one in about 302 million chance of winning the Mega and one in about 292 million of winning the Powerball.

But, it's still a chance and who would have thought we'd be in a full blown pandemic in 2020 and 2021.

The winners circle is less foreign to Kurt Panouses, an estate planning attorney and certified public accountant.

He represents dozens of lottery winners, including a Florida couple who claimed more than $500 million in the largest jackpot in history.

"Do not sign the back of the ticket," is one of the first thing he advises his clients along with keeping it somewhere secure. "Whoever signs the back of the ticket, that name has to be associated with the public domain ...[exposing] the winner of that large lottery."

The goal is to be as private and discreet about the winnings as possible to maximize safety, according to Panouses, who also advises changing phone numbers.

At $2 dollars a pop, lotto tickets can add up in cost, especially for frequent players. It's not rare to see office pools going around in attempt to increase the chances.

"Don't do it, don't do it, don't it," Panouses exclaimed. "There's a lot of things that go into it that generally do not reach the level of a real agreement, and whenever you don't have a real agreement ... all that turns into is the possibility of a major problem."

The next Mega Millions drawing is Friday at 8 p.m. with an estimated $750 million up for grabs.

Good luck.