Lotto officials say with the right formula, winners can remain anonymous for months

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CHARLOTTE (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — We’ve heard some stories of people winning big in the lottery, and then going broke.

“It probably would change us,” said Katie Stevenson, as she talked about winning the Powerball jackpot. “But I would hope that it would change us in a good way.”

So, plenty of people are trying to win the $685 million jackpot.

“Of course, it’s exciting,” added Stevenson. “I have two kids. Of course, it would be nice to be able to give them nice things.”

“I’d be even more excited if I was to win,” added Ken Williams, after he got his tickets. “And the numbers come in my favor.”

Bigger Powerball jackpots means more money to help the state education system.

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“Sure, they are celebrating,” says Van Denton, communications director for the NC Education Lottery. “They just had a life changing event happen. But as soon as they come back down to earth, there’s some things they need to do because they did have a life changing event.”

Sign your ticket, and then lottery officials say relax. Also, make sure to use all the allotted time to claim your prize

“They have 180 days to claim that jackpot,” adds Denton. “In that time, we hope they are thinking about getting a good financial advisor, getting a good legal advisor. They can bring both of those advisors with them when they come to claim their jackpot.”

In North Carolina, you need to identify as a winner, and lottery officials say for any prize of $50 million or more the agency doesn’t release the name until 90 days after you claim the prize.

So, you get a little more time to remain incognito, nine months if you followed the proper timeline.

“If you came in at the end of the 180 days, you claim it,” says Denton. “Then you have another 90 days where you could continue to figure out how you want to live your knew life.”

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