What If? The $1.5 Billion Dollar Question ($1.5 For Now, Anyway)
Seriously! What if in the 292,000,000:1 odds, you did win? I know it's hard to fathom but anything is possible. Would you take the pay out of $657.9 million (if the jackpot was given away at the time of this post) or would you take the payouts that could net you even more over time? Depending on your age and needs of course, there are many questions to be asked.
What about your privacy? Kiss that good-bye too! In Michigan winners are "a Powerball winner must accept having their name and photograph acknowledged. "Going off of the grid" might be a good idea, should you not want anyone to know that you have just become independently wealthy. Committing a crime to be put into the FBI's witness protection program is probably not an option should you want to retain your winnings.
One more thing you might want to take into consideration is the fact that the Powerball Lottery is not closed to US citizens alone. NEGATORY!!!! Our friends to the north (and east) in Canada are every bit as eligible as we are. According to usamega.com, they'll pay an additional 5% to Uncle Sam but can skip on back to the Great White North with all of that cash and probably end up with even more due to a sinking Canadian dollar and a handy-dandy exchange rate.
So to answer my own question, here's the first 5 things that what I would probably do: (Then again, my fiance' might have some ideas of her own)
1) Thank GOD: I'm not saying that he would have anything to do with it, but it never hurts.
2) Take a deep breath...then hire a tax attorney. Knowing the in's and out's of the benefits of a large sum jackpot can never be bad.
3) Pay off any debt before making any purchase. One should never start in the hole as a new multi-millionaire!
4) Get myself a big ol' jacked up 4X4 and a sweet boat with a jet drive for river fishing. Sports cars and going fast have never been my thing. Where I am going is going to be there. Not to mention, I could get a sweet wrap on it for my show, Wild Michigan!
5) Buy Land: Like Tony Soprano said; "Buy land. GOD isn't making any more!"