Mon, Jul 18, 2011 - 9:04 am

How to Handle Winning the Lotto

4 min read

What would you do if you won the lottery? The million dollar (or multimillion dollar in some cases) question. I think we have all at some stage in our lives day dreamed about what we would do if we won the big jackpot. It’s a somewhat invincible feeling to dream about.

But what would you really do? If the situation did come to reality and one day you were holding the Jackpot winning ticket in your hand, what are the practical things that you would need to do?

Here is a list of ten things that you should keep in mind, just in case you find yourself holding that million dollar ticket.

1. Keep the ticket safe

This is the absolute very first thing that you need to do. Keep your winning ticket safe, place it in a plastic zip bag or similar to ensure it is safe from spills or anything that could damage it. Put in a safe or lockable storage space and if you can’t get your ticket to the lottery commission office straight away, get to a bank and open a safe deposit box for the ticket until you can claim your winnings.

2. Go claim your win!

I almost missed this step, but it should go without saying, GO AND CLAIM YOUR MILLIONS! Head to the lottery commissions office with your ticket within the specified time period, with any supporting documents such as your ID to claim your win.

3. Open a new account at the bank

Even though we all want that giant cheque with the multiple 0’s to hand to a teller at the bank, the reality is that today – the money is transferred electronically. You will need to check with your bank to ensure that you’re bank account is the right one to handle such a huge deposit or if you need to open a special account for your win.

4. One lump sum or annual payments?

This comes down to personal preference. Straight up, it would appear to be better to take the annual payment option as this pays out significantly more over the lump sum option but if you are smart and invest wisely; then the upfront lump sum payment can work out to be a better option. But, do you think you know how to invest wisely?

5. What about your job?

Would you really quit your job if you won the lottery? Well, then again, why wouldn’t you?! Some people quit their jobs on the spot and never return, others vow that they will never give up work and continue to work in their 9-5 job, just because they love it! Or perhaps another option is to use the money to allow yourself to re-train and get yourself that dream job.

6. Find professionals that you can trust.

With big lottery wins, you may need to get yourself a good lawyer, accountant as well as a financial advisor. Make sure you research who you go to and seek referrals from friends and family, don’t just ‘Google’ this one.

7. Change your phone number!

You would be surprised at how many random people from your past including family members who seemed to have disappeared can come out of the woodwork and feel that they have some sort of rights to your lotto win. With a new number, you can more easily control who has the ability to contact you.

8. Go on a long holiday

Despite the fact that you now can as you have the money and may have quit your job, so you probably have the time. But the time out of the public eye will make it easier to adjust without the added pressure of the press and other people hounding you.

9. Relax and don’t take any pressure

People will pressure you and try to advise you with what to do with your new fortune. Be assertive and only share your winnings with people you can trust and if you like to charities or organisations that are important to you.

10. Go on, have a splurge

Ok, it is important to be practical and invest your winnings wisely so as to make the most of this massive win, but hey, you’re a millionaire, a lotto winner – go buy yourself something luxurious. I know I would!

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