Powerball hits $700 million; drawing Wednesday night

WESTLAKE, OH (WOIO) - The Powerball is now up to $700 million.

Talking about that kind of money grabs just about anyone's attention.

"$700 million now? Oh, well I should go get another (ticket)," said Mary Dixon.

It's the second largest jackpot in U.S. history. It's no wonder people have been buying Powerball tickets all day.

"It gets crazy in here. A lot of people want to buy. A lot of people want to win," said Deli-4-Less worker J.R. Parrilla.

Dixon knows you can't win if you don't play. She also knows $700 million can go a long way.

"First of all, I would have a lot of happy friends and relatives. Let me tell you. That would be my first thing," she said. "I would just have a lot of fun spending money."

The problem is, some people blow through multi-millions way too fast.

"People make mistakes all the time, especially if this huge amount of money falls into your lap," said Elios Financial Group Wealth Advisor Jim Elios.

Elios said it's good to buy a few big ticket items, like a fancy new car. "You're going to have to take some of that money and spend it. You're going to have to get that out of your system," he said.

After that, it's important to buckle down. Elios laid out a few guidelines. First, keep it confidential, create a budget and put together a trusted team.

"I can't overemphasize the team of a good lawyer, a good accountant, and a trusted financial advisor," Elios said.

He said many people who win don't have a good game plan.

"(I'm playing) just because it's $700 million. I wouldn't have a clue what I would do with it," said one Powerball player.

"I would put aside a certain amount first that I wouldn't touch, then have fun with the rest," Dixon said.

When it comes to claiming a prize, Elios said people should always take the lump sum.

The odds of winning Wednesday night's drawing are one in 292.2 million.

Truthfully, you're almost certainly not going to win the jackpot, but you have decent odds of winning something. One in 25 people win a smaller cash prize.

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