(CNBC) With the Mega Millions jackpot swelling to at least $502 million for Friday night's drawing, many ticket holders likely are daydreaming about what they'd do with that kind of money.
They also should be thinking about how they would protect their identity if they win big.
Experts say it's the most important step to take to protect your sudden wealth. It also isn't always an easy thing to do.
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While some states allow winners to easily remain anonymous when they collect their winnings, others do not. In some places, you can create a trust to receive the money to avoid your name being attached to the cash, as long as you plan ahead.