Mega Millions Winner, "We Better Hide"

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The recent $380 million Mega Millions lottery prize had two winning tickets, leaving each with a claim to $190 million. That's before the taxes, of course.

One of the big winner tickets was bought in Idaho, but the other was bought by Jim McCullar. Jim and his wife Carolyn live in Ephrata in central Washington State. Jim, a Navy veteran of the VietNam war, is a retired Boeing instructor and real estate agent. Jim bought two tickets and used the couple's birthdays for the lottery ticket numbers. While one of the tickets he bought won a very respectable $150, the other ticket will net them a lump-sum payout of around $90 million after taxes.

The McCullar's initial plans for their newfound wealth are admirable - helping out family and charities. Their long range plans show they also have a very grounded approach to money, by making this win continue to help their family in the future. "The legacy will go generation to generation and generation and my kids and grand kids will not have to worry because ... we're not going to blow this," Jim said.

When Jim broke the news of their win to his wife Carolyn, she asked him what they were going to do. His response indicated he is a shrewd customer, "I have no idea, but we better hide."

That is a telling quote on the part of Jim, and is a sign of our times. Previous lottery winners have been known to blow through their winnings within just a few years, and often wind up in much worse financial shape than they were in before their win. They often fall for investment scams and hard luck stories.

The phone must already be ringing constantly at the McCullar home, so they'd be wise to check out those incoming calls with reverse phone lookups and such before even answering calls from unknown phone numbers. Their new circumstances do put them in some risk, so running a reverse lookup on a mystery call could wind up saving them from the unpleasant side of being a lottery winner.