(NewsNation) – A whopping $1.02 billion, yes “billion” with a “b”, is the current number a lucky winner would get if they hit the Mega Millions jackpot this week.
It would be a life-changing sum of money, enough to change multiple lives, in fact, and no one knows that better than Iowan Brian Lohse, who won a Mega Millions jackpot worth over $200 million. in 2012.
“A shock, of course,” Lohse said of when he won. “And almost, a kind of terror. We didn’t have a lot of money, then suddenly we have all of this and the weight of it all was, obviously, very exciting, but at the same time, suddenly, our life changed.
Figuring out how to manage that kind of money was a chore in itself, according to Lohse, it was “daunting”. But he and his wife knew they wanted to give the money back to their community any way they could, and they did.
The Lohs used their winnings to build a much-needed grocery store in their town, paid off the church mortgage, and built a new high school football field. These are all obvious decisions for the family.
“Our city and our community have always been a part of our lives,” Lohse said. “We have always felt good about our children walking to school because we knew our community had their eyes on our children for their safety. These were things the community needed.
Each year, the Lohs sit down with their children once a year and choose where to donate money from their foundation to charity.
“To be able to do this once a year and be around our kids, and see where their hearts go and where they want to be generous and charitable, that’s one of the best things we do,” Lohse said.
As for the advice Lohse would give anyone, if anyone, hits the jackpot, he kept it simple.
“Surround yourself with friends you’ve always had, because they’re the ones who knew you before and will always support you,” Lohse said. “Also, good legal representation that you trust, good financial representation that you trust.”