Aside from a few family members, your close friends and your financial team, you shouldn't broadcast to the world that you just won the lottery. Unfortunately, that's not always easy. A New Hampshire woman holding the winning Jan. 6, 2018, $559.7 million Powerball ticket had to go to court in a fight to remain unnamed.
Some states will allow winners to remain anonymous. Others are less forgiving, including New York. Still, if you live in a state that will publicize your identity, you can usually create a trust fund or another legal entity to receive your winnings.
If you plan ahead, it may be easier to keep a low profile. "While you might want to shout this life-changing news from the rooftops," Ramassini says, limit your circle of confidantes.
"Money can change, disrupt or end relationships. It can also lead to you hearing from relatives or friends you never knew existed," he says. Plus, "fraudsters and thieves are paying very close attention and are already scheming up ways to find the winner and steal his or her money."
This story was originally published on October 22, 2018, and has been updated to include news about the latest Mega Millions jackpot.
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$560 million Powerball winner is allowed to stay anonymous—here's why that's both lucky and smart