EASTERN CAROLINA - With $425 million on the line, people are rushing to stores to buy Powerball tickets. It's the third largest Powerball jackpot in U.S. history.
The odds of winning are 1 in 175 million. To put it into perspective, customers are more likely to become a U.S. president, a movie star, or be struck by lightning.
That didn't stop New Bern resident Duane Potter from testing his luck in the lottery. Potter said he has a special number combination he always uses first.
"I've got one set of numbers in my phone that I keep: its birth dates [and] things of that nature. But other than those numbers, I let the computer do all the picking," Potter said.
Potter and his wife combined special dates such as their anniversary and kids' birthdays to get their lottery numbers.
Dan Murphy, with Symmetry Financial, said one of the first things people should do after winning the lottery is assemble a team of advisers.
"Don't do anything right away. Don't change your lifestyle. Don't buy a house in the Caribbean," said Murphy. "Try to take a deep breath and appreciate what happened, but make the right decisions so you don't end up penniless down the road because that all got spent."
The winner of the latest Powerball jackpot can opt for a lump sum of about $244.7 million after taxes, or 30 single payments every year. Murphy recommended taking it out all at once if you have a good track record of saving money. However, in the long run, people pay fewer taxes if they go with annual payments.
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