Not a Powerball winner? You'd probably go broke if you were

Man lying on grass surrounded by money

Had I won the $587.5 million Powerball jackpot, my financial adviser would have been first on my list of people to call.


I just read that an estimated 70% of all people who suddenly receive large amounts of money will lose it within a few years, according to the National Endowment for Financial Education, a nonprofit group dedicated to inspiring empowered financial decision-making.

That's a pretty amazing statistic.

Of course, you're not going to strike it rich via the lottery. The back of the ticket states the odds of hitting the jackpot are about 1 in 176 million. (For what it's worth, winning tickets for this giant jackpot were sold in Arizona and Missouri.)

But there are far more realistic ways you might come to receive a financial windfall.

Think inheritance, divorce, a personal injury settlement or cashing out those stock options.

In an event like that, it's crucial you employ a professional to help out with the management.

That's because one of the biggest dangers of receiving a large sum of money is impulse-spending.

"If you’ve never had the comfort of financial security before, if you were really eking out a living from paycheck to paycheck, if you’ve never managed money before, it can be really confusing," National Endowment for Financial Education spokesman Paul Golden told the Chicago Sun-Times. "There’s this false belief that no matter what you do, you’re never going to worry about money again."

Lottery winners who take home the jackpot are a good example, because there is an increasing number who wind up in financial ruin.

There are plenty of true stories out there, including the one about the two-time New Jersey lottery winner who frittered away $5.4 million.

Then there's William "Bud" Post, who wasted his 1988 Pennsylvania prize of more than $16.8 million on houses, vehicles and bad business decisions.

A lot of that might be due to the huge psychological impact of getting that much money at once and trying to figure out how to deal with family and friends who suddenly want a loan, the nonprofit group noted.

Giving in to those impulses can turn a seemingly endless amount of money into a night out at the casino.

And while you probably don't want to be nicknamed Ebenezer Scrooge, the goal should be to save and invest as much of that money as possible to create a portfolio that will last a lifetime.

That way, you'll always be able to feel financially secure — and maybe even provide something for the ones you love.

Just make sure you have professional help along the way.

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