Why you may not want to win the Powerball jackpot

Why you may not want to win Powerball jackpot... 03:31

Last Updated Jan 9, 2016 11:58 AM EST

Update: The Powerball jackpot has reached $900 million.


Powerball frenzy continues to build with tickets selling at record pace. Officials expect business to keep booming right up until Saturday night's big drawing which is now the largest jackpot in United States history at about $700 million, and could grow even larger.

But the prospect of becoming an overnight millionaire may not always lead to happiness, reports CBS News correspondent DeMarco Morgan. And the chances of striking it rich are slimmer than ever.

After the game was restructured last October, the odds of winning the top prize went from one in 175 million to one in 292 million. And if you do happen to win, you could still end up a loser.

Powerball fever sweeps America 01:38

"The historical assumption is if you win the lottery, you're set. Unfortunately, the overwhelmingly majority of lottery winners don't have that story," said Andrew Stoltmann, an attorney who has represented six people who saw their lottery winnings disappear.

"Once this person wins this lottery, they become a global target. There are literally people across the world who put these people on a list to harass and harangue and try to sell bad investments and also just try to take their money," Stoltmann said.

Last year, a study found that 44 percent of lottery winners spend their winnings within five years.

Some call these misfortunes the "lottery curse" when winners find their luck has run out.

In 2002, Jack Whittaker hit the Powerball jackpot, winning nearly $315 million. Years later, his family life fell apart and he was arrested twice.

Abraham Shakespeare of Florida was murdered after winning $30 million.

And just this week, Powerball winner Marie Holmes made headlines after spending millions bailing her boyfriend out of jail, yet another time.

Michael Norton, the author of "Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending," suggests the key to happiness is sharing some of the prize money.

"First off, lots of people end up perfectly fine," Norton said. "People who struggle after winning the lottery actually are the people who do things like quit their job, buy an island and move to it."

Curse or no curse, with more than a half a billion dollars on the line, plenty of Americans are willing to take a gamble.

"What else in the world could you possibly buy for two or four dollars where walking around carrying it for a couple of days makes you feel like maybe you're going to be a multi-millionaire tomorrow?" Norton said.

If you do hit the jackpot, experts say you can expect plenty of friends, family and co-workers to come out of the woodwork.

After all, only six states allow lottery winners to remain anonymous.