We were the biggest lottery winners of all time and hit a $1.6 billion jackpot – here are the seven smart moves we made

COUPLES who hit a $1.6 billion lottery jackpot have revealed the steps they took after their big wins.

Maureen Smith, 76, and her husband David Kaltschmidt were among three winners to bag the top Powerball prize in January 2016.

Maureen Smith, 76, and her husband David Kaltschmidt were among three winners to bag the top Powerball prize in January 2016.

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Maureen Smith, 76, and her husband David Kaltschmidt were among three winners to bag the top Powerball prize in January 2016.Photo credit: Reuters

The couple, who live in Melbourne Beach, Fla., had bought a lottery ticket at their local Publix store – a ritual they’d maintained for three decades.

Maureen and David opted for a staggering pre-tax lump sum payment of a whopping $327.8 million when they received their winnings.

John and Lisa Robinson and Mae and Marvin Acosta were also among the lucky players to win the grand prize.

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Don’t rush to claim your prize

Some lottery winners rush to claim their prize after realizing they’ve hit the jackpot, but Smith waited a month, Liveabout revealed.

They kept their historic win in front of their family before revealing their fortunes the night before they went public.

CLAIM AS A FLAT RATE

Maureen and David opted for a staggering pre-tax lump sum payment of a whopping $327.8 million when they received their winnings.

Maureen admitted she wasn’t sure how many payments she would see by the time she was 70.

The Robinsons also opted to claim their prize in full.

John said: “We’re going to take the flat rate because we’re not guaranteed tomorrow.”

DO NOT MAKE LARGE CHANGES

Despite their big win, Maureen and David were content to stay in their $300,000 home.

Mum-of-two Maureen revealed she wouldn’t spend as much money on “something exciting.”

She said: “He’s going to get a new car and I’m going to have a massage.”

Former engineer David traded his gold SUV for a newer but almost identical model after going public with his profits.

He said: “We’re not going to party. We will still live the same life.”

Florida state law requires lottery winners’ names and hometowns to be published.

Maureen treated herself to a $90,000 Tesla in matching gold to celebrate her lottery win.

The winners wanted to take care of their family and friends, the couple remain “as conservative as ever”.

CONTROL THE STORY

After their big win, Maureen and David worked with a law firm that handled media inquiries.

They would not reveal the meaning of their numbers when questioned by reporters.

The couple also didn’t share details about their family life and kept their children’s backgrounds secret.

Experts have suggested that lottery winners may want to delete their social media accounts.

BE PREPARED FOR THE PRESS

Maureen and David admitted they “feared” the press and public after their big win.

The couple felt more stressed than blessed after the success.

Maureen said at the time: “We’ve lost a lot of sleep and I’ve lost over 10 pounds.

“I’m afraid it will make me less friendly. And I know I’ll be in a less quiet place. We’re not the type to go out and party.”

David added: “There’s a lot of up and down at night.”

Meanwhile, Lisa said she felt even more stressed after the win.

NUMBER CHOICE

Some lottery players have a set of numbers that they pick all the time, while others pick them randomly.

Maureen revealed she had been playing the same numbers for 30 years.

Meanwhile, Richard Lustig, author of the book Learn How to Increase Your Chances of Winning the Lottery, believed he had cracked the formula to beat gambling.

He warned that players should not use birthdays or anniversaries as a source of inspiration for their numbers.

And he said the problem with quick pick tickets is that players get different numbers every time.

GET GOOD LAWYERS

Maureen and David hired lawyers before going public.

Experts have recommended that you may need to hire a lawyer, accountant and investment advisor who can provide financial advice.

They help you figure out what to do with your winnings and how to stay protected.

Lottery experts have provided tips on how players can potentially improve their odds when playing the game.

Financial services advisor John Csiszar said players stand a better chance if they buy more tickets, GoBankingRates revealed.

The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are approximately one in 302.6 million.

Buying two tickets would improve these odds slightly, although the odds of winning would be incredibly slim.

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However, Csiszar warned that lottery players who purchase multiple tickets are not guaranteed a prize.

And lottery expert Richard Wheeler believes players can improve their odds by picking big numbers.

https://www.the-sun.com/money/5951557/worlds-biggest-lottery-winners-moves-jackpot/ We were the biggest lottery winners of all time and hit a $1.6 billion jackpot – here are the seven smart moves we made

CELINE CASTRONUOVO

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