The fact of the matter is that it’s nearly impossible to win the lottery. However, somebody has to win it, and — you never know — that somebody could eventually be you.
Perhaps you’ve, by some miracle, chosen the winning numbers? If so, you have a great deal of planning ahead of you. Winning the lottery isn’t just as easy as picking up your money and spending it.
Not sure of what to do if you win the lottery? Read on!
What to Do If You Win the Lottery
Well, it happened. The lottery numbers were revealed, and they just happened to match the ones of your ticket. The question is, what do you do now?
There are a number of things you’ll want to get handled before you hand in your ticket to the proper authorities. They are as follows.
Make Copies of Your Ticket
The first thing you’ll want to do before turning in your ticket is to make a copy of it. Make sure to copy both the front and back of your ticket, as you’ll want to have all of the necessary information in place for viewing by your lawyer and accountant.
After you’ve made copies, make sure to put your legitimate ticket in a very safe place (ie. a locked safe). Then, take your copied tickets and discuss them with your team. You’ll want to have a lawyer look over all of the contract stipulations, and have an accountant look over all of the money matters.
Making copies allows you to carry your ticket around without actually having to carry your ticket around. By carrying around copies, you don’t have to risk accidentally losing the winning ticket.
Keep It Quiet
Your first instinct upon winning the lottery will be to tell everyone you know. However, it’s of utmost importance that you refrain from doing so. The second you tell someone about your fortune is the same second that the external stresses start piling up.
Not only do you make yourself a target for thieves, but a potential cash cow for close friends and relatives. You don’t want any external influences impacting your decisions on such an important occasion.
Do everything you can to stay anonymous. This includes opening a blind trust and having the winnings placed into it.
Hire Some Professionals
There’s nothing conventional about being a multimillionaire. After all, only a handful of human beings are fortunate enough to possess such money.
This is why you can’t treat your new money like you would your old money. $100 million is not $60 thousand dollars.
Because your winnings will be so staggeringly high, you will need professional assistance. Not only should you hire an attorney, but an accountant as well.
An attorney can help you to open trusts, plan your new estate, and read over any confusing legal language in your contract. An accountant, on the other hand, can help you figure out how to handle the enormous amount of money that will soon be presented to you.
Attempting to handle these matters on your own without any experience can lead to disaster. Don’t be afraid to fork over professional fees. You’re about to have plenty of money to spend.
Adjust Your Will
Another thing you’ll want to do before turning in your lottery ticket is to adjust your last will and testament. You’re about to increase your savings exponentially, and you need to reflect that in your will.
Maybe instead of passing all of your money down to your kids, you’d now like to pass some down to your nieces, nephews, or close friends? The only way to make it official is by updating your will.
Your lawyer should be able to help you with this matter. If not, it would be wise to hire an estate lawyer who’s experienced in drawing up wills.
Make a Plan for the Money
You’d be surprised at how many lottery winners have blown their extravagant winnings. If you’re not a naturally thrifty person, it’s a lot easier than you think.
This is why you must make a careful plan for your money. Yes, you should spend it on things you enjoy. However, you should also consider putting a good portion of it into a savings account.
Depending on just how much money you won, you could theoretically live solely on your winnings and interest for the rest of your life. Don’t flush the opportunity of a lifetime down the toilet by being impulsive with your money.
If you need help making a proper plan for your money, you should speak with an accountant or financial adviser. These individuals can save you from the common pitfalls of sudden money.
Choose a Payment Option
When you win the lottery, you have your choice of two payment options: 1. You can receive all of your money at once, or 2. You can receive your money in small payments from year to year.
Both of these options have their upsides, but their downsides as well. While taking all of your money at once allows you to start spending and investing immediately, getting paid yearly ensures that you don’t blow all of your money in a short time.
Speak with your lawyer, accountant, and financial adviser on the matter. They will direct you on the path, helping you to establish a plan which fits your particular preferences and personality.
Wondering about the specifics of lottery payments? Read more about them now.
What to Do After You’ve Received Your Winnings
You’ve handed in your ticket. The millions are now officially yours. Your life just changed in the blink of an eye, and, to deal with those changes, you’re going to have to make some major adjustments.
There are a few different things you can do to help ease yourself into your new lifestyle. They are as follows.
Properly Put Them Into Bank Accounts
Once you’ve obtained your winnings, you will need to put them into bank accounts. However, putting a substantial amount of money into a bank account isn’t quite the same as putting a weekly paycheck into a bank account. You need to plan the process carefully.
Your best bet is to call up your bank and explain your situation to the bank manager. He or she will help you store your money accordingly, opening up numerous bank accounts if needed.
In the United States, only up to $250,000 are federally insured in any one bank account. For this reason, you’re going to want to distribute your money among several bank accounts.
Pay Off Existing Debts
Before you start spending money on any of your desires, you should first pay for your necessities. In short, you should pay off your existing debts. If you have college loans, credit card debt, a mortgage, a car loan, or any other type of debt to pay off, you should do so immediately.
You’ve been gifted a golden ticket. At the very least, you should use it to get yourself out of the proverbial hole.
Put Your Money in a Retirement Fund
This can not be stressed enough: save a good portion of your money. Don’t make it a mission to spend every single dollar that’s given to you. While your winnings could seem substantial right now, a few years of heavy spending could change your opinion in a hurry.
Open a retirement fund and put at least 25% of your winnings into it. This money will grow over time, and will eventually turn into even more money for you to spend and pass down to your loved ones.
Make Changes Slowly
There’s really no doubt about it: winning the lottery is a life-changing experience. However, it’s important that you don’t let change happen too fast. Rapid personality changes and millions of dollars do not mix well.
Ease yourself into your new lifestyle; Stick around with your job for a little while. Can’t stand your job? Volunteer to do something that you actually enjoy.
Winning the lottery brings a lot of joy, but it brings a lot of stress as well. You might even consider going to a psychologist to express your newfound thoughts and feelings.
In essence, don’t get in over your head. Your financial situation is changing. It doesn’t mean that your entire state of being has to change with it.
Maintain Boundaries With Your Friends and Family
It’s unfortunate, but when someone wins the lottery, the vultures start to come out of the woodwork. Everyone who once knew the winner tries to get a piece of the pie, even if their relationship was minimal at best.
As a lottery winner yourself, you need to keep these people at bay. This includes your close friends and your family.
While there’s nothing wrong with buying a car for your best friend, or a house for your parents, you need to set boundaries. Don’t let anyone convince you that they deserve a chunk of your money. Only give money to others out of the goodness of your heart.
Looking for More Money Tips?
Now that you know what to do if you win the lottery, you might be looking for more money tips. If so, you needn’t look much further. What U Talking Bout Willis? has all types of tips on finance and economics.
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Newly middle-aged wife of 1, Mom of 3, Grandma of 2. A professional blogger who has lived in 3 places since losing her home to a house fire in October 2018 with her husband. Becky appreciates being self-employed which has allowed her to work from 'anywhere'. Life is better when you can laugh. As you can tell by her Facebook page where she keeps the humor memes going daily. Becky looks forward to the upcoming new year. It will be fun to see what 2020 holds.