Steve Tran is a delivery driver from San Jose, California. He’s one of thousands of people who buy a lottery ticket so he can provide a better life from himself and his family. One day he bought a Mega Millions ticket, the next thing he knew he was on the phone talking to his boss “I hit the jackpot. I don’t think I’m going to come in today, tomorrow, or ever.” It’s totally mind-blowing for anyone who wins a half of the $648 million grand jackpot.
Some of us wonder think how people feel if ever they win, after all, these lottery winners are still ordinary people. Emotions can get the best of them especially if they won a big amount of money, and other people around them can take advantage of their emotions. So what do people would most likely do if ever they won the lottery?
A local survey shows that 46% will tell their significant other right away, only 10% of the responders mentioned that they will call their lawyer. So is it right for Steve to call his boss first instead of contacting a lawyer or a financial adviser?
Put yourself in Steve’s shoes and ask yourself: what do I next after winning the lottery?
It’s best to prepare to be a responsible lottery winner. Here are some useful tips:
Keep It to Yourself First
It’s quite difficult to contain your emotions once you find out that you won millions, but telling it to the world by announcing it on your Facebook account is another story. Pretend that it’s your birthday and you don’t tell everyone that it’s your birthday, right? People don’t have to know how old you are on your birthday, and that holds the same for winning the lottery jackpot, don’t declare yourself as the winner of $100 million jackpot prize.
Go on and be excited about winning tons of cash but it’s best practice not to tell everyone you know. Avoid posting on social media or even dropping hints. You can mention to your immediate family but you know how people are when it comes to money. It’s safe to remain anonymous until you contact your lawyer and financial adviser.
Seek Professional Financial Advice
Telling your parents that you won the lottery is good since you trust them because they are your parents, right? Yes, that’s ok, but they are not the most qualified people to advise you on how you will proceed to claim your prize money and what to do right after. You can ask from close friends or trusted colleagues for referrals. Financial advisers and lawyers can help you in taking meticulous steps once you claim your prize.
Robert Grant, a securities attorney in Boston who has represented multiple lottery winners in lawsuits over investment scams, says “lottery winners become one of most heavily targeted marks in the entire world.” If you won the lottery, you don’t claim your prize then go straight to the bank like it’s your usual routine of making a deposit. The best practice would be to seek advice from an established and reputable investment firm, and then proceed to claim your jackpot prize.
Avoid Claiming the Lump Sum
Lotteries prizes can be awarded in one go, or paid in a number of installments over time. The jackpot winner will keep more if he decides to be paid in installments and spread the winnings in a 30-year annuity arrangement. What’s great about being paid through annual installments is that you can have more time to plan what you will do with your winnings
Spreading winnings out also gives the lucky ticket holder more time to learn how to manage the massive sum and make more responsible choices, Grant says. The installment basis for claiming the cash prize also gives you security. If you spend your first lotto payout ridiculously and live the life if a highroller, then you can learn from that mistake without spending all of your winnings.
Avoid Impulsive Decisions
Winning a large amount of money doesn’t mean you can alter your life right away. You don’t quite your job to have an annual vacation spending lottery money. You don’t purchase fancy cars and buy a mansion to live like a king everyday doing nothing to sustain such lifestyle. Make the most out of your time and study how you can invest a portion of your money. If you want to live the good life then the best practice is finding ways to make more money and sustaining your investments.