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Financial expert says hitting jackpot may not be a good thing

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Powerball jackpot is at a record high, and many lottery hopefuls are still buying tickets before tonight’s drawing. The odds are not in your favor, but most people try their luck any way.

So you’ve won $550 million. Now what?

We asked you on Facebook what you would do if you won the big jackpot. Between donating the money in honor of a loved one, opening a Chick-Fil-A in Shallotte and building a ballpark in Wilmington, most people have pretty reasonable plans for their potential winnings.

Certified Financial Planner Ross Marino says this is not usually what happens, though. He says most people who go from little money to millions usually experience windfall. That means they did not work for the money and do not really understand its value.

“With many people in our business of financial planners and advisors, we don’t want to work with many windfall people, because if you weren’t able to handle money before you receive that, you’re probably not going to do a good job after you receive it,” Marino said.

Still, a person can dream, right?

“I would go on a big cruise, and I would buy a magnificent house,” lottery hopeful Brooke Hefner said.

Eoais Patino said, “I would buy a mansion for my mom. That’s the first thing I would do. Then I would buy a really nice car.”

Most people on our Facebook page agree they would buy a home for their family. So most money would go toward piecing together the American dream? Marino says the reality is much different.

“It’s not the American dream. Some might call it the American lie,” Marino said. “Most people who win the lottery don’t have a much better life. They have worse family relations. They have more stress, more problems, and often it’s just the guilt. You can’t really spend $100 million, so you’re going to be left with the guilt of, ‘Who do I give this to? What organizations?'”

Don’t forget, the drawing for the Powerball jackpot is tonight, and you can find out if you won right on WWAY NewsChannel 3 at 11.

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