Iowa Powerball winner reveals what you should do right after you win the $1.2 billion jackpot

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Timothy Schultz, who lives in Iowa, knows what it's like to buy a lottery ticket, cross your fingers — and win the lottery.

Schultz won $28 million in 1999 by playing the Iowa Powerball

He was working at an Iowa gas station back then, and sold the winning ticket to himself. 

Today, Schultz is a podcast host and runs a popular YouTube channel. He interviews other lottery winners who share their experiences after they strike it rich.

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Calling the current $1.2 billion Powerball jackpot a "staggering amount of money," he shared the specific steps to take if you hold the winning ticket after the drawing on Wednesday, November 2.

Winning is exhilarating and life-changing

"I know better than anyone that it only takes one ticket to win," Schultz told Fox News Digital via email. 

"Your life can change in an instant."

Timothy Schultz is pictured here. “The first thing they should do is try and keep calm and put the ticket somewhere secure, such as a safety deposit box,” Schultz advised any future lottery winners. (Timothy Schultz / Fox News)

He also said, "Winning the lottery is one of the most exhilarating and potentially life-altering things that can happen. And with a jackpot of that size, it could be crazy."

“When you win the lottery, it’s like joining a very small and rare club.”

He added, "They say winning the lottery is like being struck by lightning, but in this case, that is especially true. Whoever wins is likely going to be in shock. I imagine it will be extremely surreal."

Here’s the first thing a lottery ticket holder should do with a winning ticket

"The first thing they should do is try and keep calm and put the ticket somewhere secure, such as a safety deposit box," advised Schultz. 

(See a clip from Schultz's popular YouTube channel, just below.)

He also advised winners to "seek the help of qualified financial advisers and estate attorneys prior to turning in the ticket."

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"Come up with a financial plan," he added, and "get your ducks in a row prior to redeeming the prize."

“Some states give the option to claim prizes anonymously, which would also need to be taken into account by everyone before claiming the ticket,” said a past lottery winner, Timothy Schultz. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images / Getty Images)

If a group of people wins, here’s how to handle the cash windfall

"It's fun to see groups or pools of people win lottery jackpots — it happens!" said Schultz.

"My advice would be to agree upon how and when to claim the ticket by all involved ahead of time with the help of qualified advisers and legal counsel," he said. 

If you win the lottery, some people “view you as a bank.” 

"Some states give the option to claim prizes anonymously, which would also need to be taken into account by everyone before claiming the ticket."

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He also said, "When you win the lottery, it's like joining a very small and rare club. I meet and interview other lottery winners for a podcast I produce, but if it weren't for that, I wouldn't know many."

Iowa lottery winner Timothy Schultz on left; a Powerball ticket on the right. “Stay grounded and stay true to yourself” if you win, Schultz said. (Timothy Schultz/AP / Fox News)

He added, "If you win as part of a group, that could be very positive. It's a huge thing to have in common."

3 top pieces of advice for any new lottery winner

1. Seek qualified, experienced financial advisers and estate attorneys right away, said Schultz. 

"Your spending ability will grow exponentially, but you should still live within your means." He also said it is important to understand how best to "maintain anonymity in your area, if you wish to do that." 

2. If you win the lottery, some people can "view you as a bank," he said. 

"My advice is to determine any gifts you intend to give to others early on. Be clear about that in the beginning, in order to help avoid people constantly asking for money in the future." 

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3. "Stay grounded and true to yourself. Pursue what makes you happy," he advised. "Most importantly, try and relax and enjoy life!" 

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