LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky Lottery officials offer free advice to big lottery winners -- saying they may need to make some big decisions very quickly to protect that jackpot.
“Whenever someone wins over a million dollars we have a debriefing program we put them through,” Kentucky Lottery Communications Senior Vice President Chip Polston said. “At the lottery we really work with them and tell them it takes a team of people to manage. If you don’t have a financial advisor or a tax attorney, you need one now.”
Financial experts recommend forming a limited liability company (LLC) to protect your privacy. As a winner claims a jackpot, the money goes to the company and not directly to a named individual. An LLC is also helpful in facilitating payment if the winning ticket was purchased by a large group like an office pool.
“A lot of people use LLCs as another layer of anonymity between the money and themselves,” William Meyer, Strothman and Company partner said. “Or if you were in a group with a lot of people, you might want to set up an LLC to distribute the money if you weren’t the sole winner.”
Hours before Tuesday’s drawing, there was a long line as the Kentucky Lottery handed out free tickets at Hikes Point. Dreams of a life of luxury were driving the excitement of the day, not thoughts of financial obligations.
“If I win, I’m out of here,” Charles Floyd said as he explained his plans to quit his job and fly to the Bahamas if he wins the Mega Millions jackpot.
Floyd said he had not hired an accountant.
“Not yet,” Floyd said smiling, “But I will. I will.”