Mega Millions prize reaches $376M, Powerball $363M after weekend drawings

Lottery players will have a chance to hit the jackpot in drawings scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday

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The dollar amounts for the Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries continue to rise after no one was declared a winner of the drawings this weekend.

The Powerball jackpot is now at $363 million, while Mega Millions is currently at $376 million.

In preparation for the next drawings — Mega Millions on Tuesday and Powerball on Wednesday — an expert is chiming in to offer advice to anyone who ends up winning.

READ MORE: Brooklyn truck driver comes forward as $298M Powerball winner, quits job

Doug Boneparth, a certified financial planner, and president of New York’s Bone Fide Wealth, told CNBC that potential winners should not try to figure things out on their own in lieu of hiring an accountant, financial advisor and attorney for assistance in managing a substantial windfall.

“The first thing I’d recommend is to build a team of professionals to handle the many aspects of coming into that kind of money,” Boneparth said.

Powerball and Mega Millions lottery tickets are displayed on January 3, 2018 in San Anselmo, California.(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Boneparth also advises that winners choose the option of taking a lump sum of the winnings, rather than 30 years of annuity payments.

“Taking the lump sum distribution would be the preference,” Boneparth said. “Doing that puts you in greater control of the money.”

The lump-sum cash option for the Mega Millions would be $287.4 million of the $376 million, and the Powerball lump sum would be $279.2 million of the $363 million. However, taxes would skim more off the top for each, lowering the Powerball jackpot to $212.2 million and the Mega Millions to $218.4 million, the business news outlet reports.

Many lottery winners bring lots of attention, so Boneparth says anyone who wins should “find somewhere comfortable and get away.”

According to the New York Times, some states allow you to collect your lottery winnings anonymously. These states include Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Texas, North Dakota and Ohio. In New York, you can collect your winnings under the guise of an entity, like an LLC.

READ MORE: Jamaican Super Lotto winner goes viral after picking up her check in hilarious disguise

Some Black lottery winners have used their winnings to help their communities. In 2018, Robert Bailey, a retired government worker and Harlem resident, won the largest New York Powerball ever at the time for $343.8 million. He told BlackAmericanWeb.com that he planned to invest in his borough after buying his mom some property.

A customer carries her lottery tickets as she exits a convenience store in Lower Manhattan, October 23, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“I plan to give back to Manhattan; that’s where I’m from,” Bailey said. “I still want to be me. I can’t let money change me. I’m going to keep doing the right thing.”

Back in 2017, Pearlie Mae Smith of New Jersey won a $429 million jackpot, splitting the money with her family. As reported by Rolling Out, the 70-year-old took a $284 million lump sum, opened the Smith Family Foundation and used $16 million to fight poverty, aid in education and provide scholarships.

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