After You’ve Claimed Your Prize
Pay Off Your Debts
Lottery jackpots conjure images and thoughts of extreme luxury, and rightfully so. While all those extravagant thoughts are now probably feasible, make sure you consider covering the basics as well now that you can – the sooner the better.
Mortgages, student loans, car insurance and so on; all are bills or recurring payments that can, in one fell swoop, be written off by the new winner.
Existing debts become a needless worry to a lottery winner as they can now be taken care of. Make sure to consider doing this, especially before making any more investments.
In addition to the point above, consider putting some money away in a savings account or similar to ensure your financial stability in the future. You could also make a few prudent investments if you wish, though it would be wise to consult your finance team before doing so.
Keep in Touch
The people you hired to help you manage your new wealth are there for your benefit, so it makes sense to touch base with them regularly and make sure they can still offer you informed decisions. It’ll also be your responsibility to find any replacements if the situation ever calls for it.
Sort a Budget and Stick to It
Using the accountant or finance professional you hired after you found out you won, decide how you are going to spend your money and how much of it will be spent on certain things.
While everyone deserves the occasional indulgence – and having won the lottery, these occasions will likely arise more frequently for you – it makes sense to plan and monitor your outgoings so you aren’t on the end of any nasty surprises.
Now that you’re (probably) a millionaire, a lot of possibilities that were previously unavailable have suddenly become available to you. One of these possibilities is giving back. While this may be to family and close friends initially, you could also extend your kindness to your community or charities that you believe are important.
While it’s nice to have such wealth, it’s equally as nice, if not nicer, to share it with others.
…But Learn How to Say “No”
While it’s a good idea to be charitable, you’ll also need to learn how to balance your kindness properly – that means you’ll need to start getting used to saying “No” to people more often, and meaning it.
Although it may sound clichéd, winning a lottery jackpot will quickly help you realise whose company you wish to keep and whose you do not. Your new fortune could potentially put you at odds with those you originally considered close.
Unfortunately, money can bring out the worst in some people, and it’s now your duty to spot when this is happening and develop a personal strategy on how to avoid it.
It’s likely that every day will bring with it a flurry of new good causes, struggling friends, and seemingly amazing investment opportunities so it’s imperative that you cultivate a discerning eye and keep your decisions in line with your aims and interests. That may mean upsetting a few people along the way, but no-one ever said that winning the lottery was going to be free of stress.
Become Too Whimsical
So, you’ve just received what is likely going to be a life-changing sum of money and the ideas of what you’re going to do with it are flowing freely in your mind. It’s an exciting time, but try not to let it cloud your judgement too much. In the same way you try to avoid shopping on an empty stomach, remember that the first things you think of spending your lottery winnings on probably aren’t the things you really want or need in the long run.
The sole purpose of money is for it to be spent and there have been a number of lottery winners who have spent all of their fortune in a matter of years, if not months, in the past.
To avoid becoming another unfortunate statistic, make sure you don’t start spending your money impulsively. Also, make sure that you aren’t spending too much of your winnings before you’ve even received them!
Consult the previous points of advice offered here and be sensible with your fortune so that you can make the most out of something only a handful of people will ever get to experience. Remember: you can’t enjoy something that isn’t there!
Shout About It on Social Media
Because they don’t usually have a reference point, lottery winners are often shocked by just how drastically their life changes and the rate at which it does so. You’ll likely be inundated with requests and messages from long-lost family members, old friends, eager start-ups and charities soon enough, so it’s advisable not to fan the flames any more by posting about your win on social media or the internet.
In fact, with the deluge of contact attempts coming your way, it may be wise to start thinking about reducing or removing your online footprint altogether.
If you’ve won big, and have considered all the points above – well done! Different pieces of advice apply to different winners and in different amounts, but it’s good to have some kind of idea when it comes to dealing with your new fortune, if for no other reason than to prevent yourself from being scammed.
The overwhelming nature of a jackpot win cannot be understated, and what applies to your individual situation may or may not apply to another’s; winning a lottery jackpot is a very personal occasion, and only you and those close to you will truly understand and appreciate your next steps. Reading this may have given you some insight into what those steps may (or may not!) be.
While a lot of the suggestions in this guide – and the suggestions you might receive if you win big – seem quite taxing, they consider the bigger picture of a jackpot win, which is keeping it and enjoying it.