What to do if You Win the Lottery

Jan 6, 2016

Every so often, an especially large jackpot gets lots of attention. Right now, there’s a $500 million Powerball drawing that has been building for some time. In other blog posts, we’ve looked at ways people have successfully picked lucky numbers. Winners have relied on everything from random chance to the numbers found in their fortune cookies. Now let’s look at some helpful tips about what you should do if you win a big jackpot, or at Time magazine puts it:

What to do if you Win the $500 Million Powerball

While it might seem that winning a huge fortune has no downside, many past winners have faced a surprising number of mishaps, from losing their winning tickets to spending the winnings in a few short months. Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you’re lucky enough to have such a problem.

  • Sign the ticket and lock it up in a safe place until you claim it.
  • Don’t tell the world. Posting it on social media may attract thieves and scammers to your door.
  • Contact your lottery office as soon as possible for practical instructions on how to proceed.
  • Hire a lawyer who specializes in financial matters.
  • Invest the majority of the winnings in secure investments and live off dividends and interest.
  • Be generous but sensible. You may find that long lost relatives suddenly want to bond with you.
  • Enjoy yourself but don’t go overboard. You can only live in so many mansions or drive so many luxury cars. Have fun but live modestly and your money will last a lot longer.

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