Mega Millions jackpot is $345 million. How to handle the windfall

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There’s a chance someone holding a Mega Millions ticket is about to become one of the wealthier people in the U.S.

The jackpot for Tuesday night’s drawing is $345 million (lump sum cash option: $234.6 million). While you may be daydreaming about what you’d buy with the money if you’re holding a ticket, it’s also worth considering how you’d handle a windfall of that magnitude.

Of course, your odds of snaring the top prize are miniscule: The chance of a single ticket matching all six numbers drawn is 1 in 302 million.

Nevertheless, at some point — whether Tuesday night or down the road, if the jackpot goes higher — there will be a winner.

If you manage to beat the odds, here are key considerations and what you should do first.

Don’t rush

Protect the ticket and your identity

Lump sum vs. annuity

The tax bite

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