With the Powerball now valued at more than one billion dollars, someone figures to get very rich, very fast. Someone who got rich the old-fashioned way -- earning it -- has some advice for that lucky individual.
In the debate over whether to take the full prize through installment payments or as a smaller lump sum, finance experts have often pointed to the lump sum as the better deal. The reason? Even modest gains in interest will result in more money over time than if you take the payment plan.
Mark Cuban doesn't like that strategy. As he tells the Dallas Morning News, those finance experts have one thing the future Powerball winner likely doesn't: expertise.
"You don't become a smart investor when you win the lottery," says Cuban, per the news. "Don't make investments. You can put it in the bank and live comfortably. Forever. You will sleep a lot better knowing you won't lose money."
In other words, don't be greedy, and don't risk blowing your newfound fortune.
For that reason, Cuban advocates taking the payment plan. That way, even if individuals do screw up their finances or make poor investments, they'll still have consistent income from the winnings, and that money will easily carry them to a comfortable life.
Among Cuban's other bits of advice: Hire a tax attorney, and say "no" to all of your friends and relatives. If you do help out close friends and family, do so in small amounts, and run everything through your accountant first.
And, most importantly: Don't expect the lottery to bring you happiness. "It's money," says Cuban. "It's not happiness."
But if you're already happy?
"If you were happy yesterday, you are going to be a lot happier tomorrow. It's money. Life gets easier when you don't have to worry about the bills."