If you woke up this morning a little disappointed that you didn’t win the record $1.5 Billion jackpot, you aren’t alone. You had a higher chance of getting struck by lightning twice, spontaneously combusting and a meteor falling on your head, yet a few people out there still managed to beat the odds. Most people like myself, can only dream of winning the lottery and will continue to keep on wishing. But for those lucky individuals who’ve cashed in their horseshoe filled with luck, what are they to do? I can only imagine the first reaction to winning the lottery. A state of euphoria where you become worry free and your problems seem to have vanished. You are overcome with pure joy and excitement knowing that everything is going to be ok. On the contrary, all too often, we hear of these lucky lottery winners going broke or bankrupt and their pre-lottery winning fears are suddenly resurrected showing it’s ugly self. So what are you supposed to do if you win? Here are some Dos and Don’ts when you win the lottery.
Sign It: The first thing you should do when you win the lottery is sign your ticket! After you sign your ticket make a copy of it and put it in a safe place. Perhaps a fireproof safe.
Get a Team: You need a Financial Planner, Attorney and a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) to ensure you don’t go broke. Your financial adviser will be the quarterback of the team guiding you through financial security.
Take Your Time: As gung-ho as you may be, there’s no need to rush. Take a deep breath and think logically. There’s a saying, “Don’t let your emotions control you.” Follow that quote and don’t jump into any situation you can’t get yourself out of.
Spread the News: As much as you’d like to celebrate and tell the world that you’ve just become a millionaire or billionaire, keep it to yourself. Don’t worry you’ll have plenty of hands cupped looking for help once they’ve heard you won.
Spend it All: Your Financial Adviser will be the first person to tell you this. Just because you have the money doesn’t mean you need to spend it for no reason. If you have a family of three do you really need a 10,000 square foot house with 8 bedrooms?
Take the Installments: You have two options when you win the lottery, either take the lump sum and run, or be paid in installments over time. Installments may lend a helping hand in not spending the money at once, but right now taxes are low and they are only on the rise. Plus who knows what could happen in the next 10 or 20 years. Your financial team can help you invest your money wisely to create your own income for a lifetime. Take the lump sum.
Hopefully by now you’re better prepared if you ever become the lucky winner! They say that money changes people, but it doesn’t. Money changes the individual’s perception of who they see as themselves. Don’t forget who you are or where you came from. Take a deep breath and enjoy your happiness. One of the major points is keeping quiet about your winnings, but hey, you just won the jackpot, it’s ok to celebrate a little.