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Life-altering sums

With the multistate Mega Millions jackpot swelling to $400 million, there will likely be a frenzy of ticket buyers hoping to cash in on the jackpot.

New rules have made for sweeter jackpots as the lottery now pulls from a pool of 75 white balls and 15 yellow or mega balls. Although there are more lower-tier winners, the top prize is now harder to come by.

The latest jackpot is the sixth largest ever in the U.S., behind two Mega Millions and three Powerball jackpots.

The largest jackpot ever was a Mega Millions drawing in 2012 for $656 million. The second largest, a $648 million prize, was drawn in December and split by a winner in North Carolina and one in Atlanta.

Such payouts are rewriting the financial rules about handling extraordinary and sudden good fortune—from dealing with reconfigured lives to getting tax advice.

"Buy that Rolls and save the rest" has become "Lawyer up and start a foundation."

Here are tips on what to do if you are the lucky winner.

By Paul O'Donnell
Originally posted 8 Aug. 2013;
Updated 18 March 2014

Timothy A. Clary | AFP | Getty Images