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Life-altering sums

With the multistate Powerball jackpot swelling to $500 million, there will likely be a frenzy of ticket buyers hoping to cash in on the jackpot.

The Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries are the largest in the U.S., and this is the sixth largest jackpot offered. It comes with a $306 million cash option.

The largest jackpot ever was a Mega Millions drawing in March 2012 for $656 million. The second largest, a $648 million prize, was drawn in December of that year 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 6 Jan. 2016

Correction: Powerball offered the $450M jackpot in January 2016. The lottery name was misstated in an earlier version of this article.

Timothy A. Clary | AFP | Getty Images