OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- It's almost too much money to comprehend - $550 million - although that's a problem that anyone who plays the Powerball lottery would love to tackle.
The Powerball jackpot is now over a record half-billion dollars. The drawing is set for Wednesday night.
Financial advisers say it's essential to have a plan to protect you and your future, in the unlikely - but not impossible - event that you win the jackpot.
Eric Jones from Stepp & Rothwell in Overland Park says to hire a good financial planner to work with your team of advisers. Yes, a team, which includes an accountant and at least one lawyer. Once the team is in place, Jones says use some money for peace of mind, then it's time to pay off your debt and set up college funds. Once all that is done, you can use some of the money to help others.
"You can support charities that mean a lot, you can start your own charity and do things that are important to you." says Jones.
Financial planners don't take all the fun out of winning. Once you have everything set up, Jones encourages lottery winners to go have some fun.
"You've got more money than you will ever need, so see the world, travel, throw some big parties," says Jones.
It's enough money to make your head spin, and some past winners realized some of the pitfalls the hard way. If you can remain anonymous, do so. If not, change your telephone number and find somewhere to stay for a while, as distant relatives and scam artists will be coming out of the woodwork.
Most of all, the best way to avoid problems associated with extreme sudden wealth is simple: Have a plan.
See more tips from Bruce Cramer of Cramer Capital Management in the video below.