Mega Millions jackpot surges to $1.6 billion. If you win, here’s how to avoid big mistakes

You might be so excited that your first instinct is to share your news far and wide. Bad move, experts say.

One of the best ways to protect your newfound wealth is to avoid letting too many people know about it. Of course, this can be difficult if you cannot claim your prize anonymously. Even if you can, though, it’s still best to avoid sharing your exciting news with too many people.

“Obviously it may be impossible to keep this from immediate family, but news like this travels quickly,” said Jason Kurland, a partner at Rivkin Radler, a law firm in Uniondale, New York. “Try to keep the circle of people who know as small as possible.”

Past prize winners have discovered the hard way that long-lost friends and relatives can come out of the woodwork looking for loans or handouts. Scammers, too, have a way of zeroing in on lottery winners.

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