An Iowa couple who won a $202 million Powerball jackpot earlier this year has some advice for the potential winner of tonight’s drawing for the record jackpot of $550 million: hire a lawyer.
Brian and Mary Lohse of Bondurant were guests this morning on NBC’s Today show.
Although they became multi-millionaires back in September, Brian said the amount of money they won hasn’t completely sunk in. “Everytime we see a number about the financial projections, it’s just, we can’t fathom it. It’s just unreal,” Brian Lohse said.
The Lohses, who have three daughters, took a cash option that left them with $90.9 million, after taxes. Brian told Today show host Matt Lauer one of the first things they did, after learning they were multi-millionaires, was hire a team of financial consultants.
“We have financial advisors from Goldman Sachs, we have an accountant and we have two attorneys,” Brian said. “I’m an attorney and I did estate planning…so I knew the basics about what (people) with large amounts of money need to do.” Brian, who turned 44 this week, quit his job as an attorney for EMC Insurance.
Mary Lohse has kept her part-time job as a certified medical technician in the pediatric clinic at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines. Mary said one of the more difficult things about being extremely wealthy is ignoring strangers who beg for cash.
“You can’t help everybody. We would like to, but you can’t,” Mary said. “We have a stack of letters at home from strangers. You want to help them, but you can’t tell who is telling the truth and who isn’t.”
The Lohse’s lawyer advised Mary not to respond to the letters. Since claiming the Powerball prize, the Lohses have paid off their mortgage, student loans and several other big bills. They’ve bought new vehicles and taken their daughters on some shopping sprees. But, Brian Lohse told Lauer they’re trying to “remain grounded.”
“I hope whoever wins tonight, if it’s not us,” Lohse began, before being interrupted by Lauer. “Wait, are you playing in this one too?” Mary responded, saying she did buy a Powerball ticket for tonight’s drawing and won $4 a couple weeks ago. “People would hate you (if you won tonight),” Lauer said.
Brian Lohse continued, “our lawyer kept saying, ‘grow into the money. Don’t go out and get everything now. You’ll have time for all of that, just grow into the money.'” The Lohses have bought an acreage in Bondurant, where they intend to build a new house.
They’ve donated much of their winnings to the Bondurant-Farrar School District and to their church.