Big winners share lessons, risks of Powerball win

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Powerball

(AP Photo)

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) – Visions of lifelong riches are surely dancing in the heads of those rushing to buy lottery tickets for tonight’s $500 million Powerball jackpot.

Past winners of mega-lottery drawings and financial planners have some more sound advice: stick to a budget, invest wisely, learn to say no and be prepared to lose friends while riding an emotional roller-coaster.

Tales of big lottery winners who wind up in financial ruin or other desperate straits are increasingly common.

A two-time New Jersey lottery winner squandered her $5.4 million fortune. And a West Virginia man who won $315 million a decade ago on Christmas later said the windfall was to blame for his granddaughter’s fatal drug overdose and his divorce.

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