The jackpot for Wednesday's Powerball lottery is now at $700 million, the second-largest prize in the game's history.
On the off chance you hold the winning numbers, you'll want to be smart about how you handle the windfall. After all, lottery winners are more likely to declare bankruptcy within three to five years than the average American.
CNBC Make It spoke with Nick Holeman, certified financial planner at Betterment, who outlined five smart steps to take if you walk away with the jackpot.
Keep it quiet
"I would recommend not telling people," says Holeman. "It's hard with social media nowadays to hide it for too long," he notes, "but I wouldn't necessarily go broadcasting it to the world."
It's also smart to come up with a media plan — whether that means hiring a spokesperson or staying in a hotel to avoid reporters who may be flooding your front lawn — before you cash in the winning ticket.
Consider the annuity option
Winnings are offered in two ways: one large payment up front — the lump sum — or a series of smaller payments over 30 years — the annuity.
Holeman recommends taking the annuity option: "If you get a huge lump sum, it's easier to make a mistake, whereas if you choose the annuity, then at least if you mess up and blow the first year's worth, you have another chance."
Find a trusted financial planner
You don't have to deal with the cash windfall all on your own — nor should you, says Holeman: "This is one case where you should work with an advisor. When you're talking about that large of an amount of money, your situation gets very complicated very quickly."
Your tax situation will become particularly complicated, Holeman tells CNBC Make It: "You'll be subject to higher rates of taxes, your tax deductions get phased out — and in some cases completely eliminated — and you have new taxes to look into that you weren't even subject to before." For this reason, it's smart to work with a certified public accountant (CPA).
Some experts also recommend contacting an attorney to help with estate planning and gifting your wealth. Ideally, your advisor, CPA and attorney will all work together to help you make smart financial decisions and plan for the future.
Treat yourself, but beware of lifestyle inflation
"I am not against enjoying yourself a little bit if you win $700 million," says Holeman.
That being said, come up with a plan before buying anything. For starters, "you should account for taxes," which will take about half of your winnings, Holeman notes.
Next, think about your financial goals. What big, future purchases do you want to save for? How much do you want to donate, and to which charities and organizations? Do you want to gift money to family members?
In general, "you should be saving the majority of it and also looking to donate and help out others. Then, you can go ahead and splurge a little, but give yourself a spending cap," says Holeman. "There's the type of person who's the big spender, who will immediately buy a bunch of Lamborghinis, a yacht or a mansion. If you get used to having this lifestyle and don't track how much you're spending, then it's easy to forget that the money is not necessarily guaranteed if you're not smart with it."
Prepare to say 'no'
"People always joke that when you win the lottery, you find new cousins and new friends that you hadn't spoken to in forever," says Holeman.
Chances are, friends and relatives are going to come knocking on your door. Prepare to say "no," Holeman tells CNBC Make It: "It can be difficult. You're going to risk being called selfish or stingy, but the truth is, even if you win millions, you can't help everybody. You have to be smart with who you lend money to and who you help out."
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