LAWTON, Okla. - One man is millions of dollars richer, Thursday, after winning the Mega Millions Lottery.
Jim McCullar of Washington will split the $380 million with another winner from Idaho, who has yet to be identified. McCullar will end up with about $90 million if he decides to take the lump sum payment.
Thursday, the retiree held a press conference revealing his identity and, more importantly, how he planned to take his cash prize, either all at once or in payments. Financial Advisor Lance Wade says if he were counseling a lottery winner, he would tell them to go with the lump sum for several reasons.
"Present value form applies to money only rewards the state," said Wade.
Wade says the lottery would prefer everyone to take the payout over time because it expects to pay out less each year. He also says your dollar's buying power will change from year to year, most likely negatively.
"$100 worth of bread and groceries today may very well cost you $200 in the future," said Wade.
Wade says either choice is a gamble, but the lump sum is one that he would take. Either way, you will have to watch out for friends or relatives with their hands out and try to not go crazy and spend it all.
"It will change people's lives and how well they adjust to that is going to vary depending on their self discipline, their own history, their own ability to manage money and their own ability to manage relationships."
Wade says it is all about how you handle those changes that matters.
"If you're gonna get $90 million, it's gonna represent a lot of changes in your life one way or the other, lump sum or not."
The bottom line Wade says is, if you invest today's $90 million it should be worth far more than $90 million in another 20 years.