If you’ve ever been on the internet (like now, for instance), there is a high chance you’ve read a lot of stories about people wasting their lottery winnings.
It’s only natural you’ve come across those kind of news stories if you are interested in lottery winnings though, because as much as we love to read how lucky someone got, it is in our nature to also follow the drama. To add more fun to those, already entertaining, stories, you’ll probably often come across mentions of “lottery curse”, the sensationalist lingo for “people who didn’t know how to handle a lot of money”.
Lottery Winnings As Cautionary Tales
And although they are way less heavy than the media would like you to believe, that doesn’t mean we can’t use them as cautionary tales. For instance, there are often stories involved about greed destroying marriages and relationships, but think about it: does that say more about your lottery winnings or your poor judgment of people you’ve chosen to surround yourself with?
On the other hand, there are many stories about money-hungry acquaintances, neighbours and relatives, but also a few stories of stolen money, and even a few murders. But if you take a closer look, you’ll see that all of those have the same denominator – winners bragging and flaunting their money.
Keep Your Feet On The Ground
There are many more examples that can easily be demystified and rationalized, and they can all be of use when you win your grand prize. But let’s start with the aforementioned basics: first of all, be aware of people in your life, so you are not surprised by their actions when you find yourself in the position of money. Secondly, do not boast. Sure, you’ll be happy about what happened and will want everybody to know about your lottery winnings, but try to resist being too loud. If it is possible with your lottery provider, the most desirable move would be to even stay anonymous.
The boasting advice can also be applied to many different segments of winning the lottery: be careful you don’t attract the media with your winnings because you can be sure there will be no escaping the freeloaders. Also, don’t quit your job (remember; keep the number of people aware of your lottery winnings as low as possible). If the word still does get out, your first move could be to change your phone number and address, but that is entirely up to you.
Most Crucial Moves
When you finally get your hands on the money, there are a few things that are a must. First of all, hire professional advisers from several domains (investment, taxes, etc). This is crucial if you are new to big money: surround yourself with people you pay, but who you can trust will advise you in areas you know nothing about. Preferably someone with a respectable background who won’t scam you out of your freshly won money.
In terms of where the money should go, you’ll have all of those advisers to help you with your specific situation, but if the lottery winning is big enough you should probably first pay off any debts you may have. After that, it would be advisable to set up a few funds: retirement, emergency, college, and so on. Also, although your professional advisers will sort the details out for this one, don’t forget to invest your money, and do it through several different types.
Lastly, now that you are all set up, don’t forget to play and have fun, because that is the most important part of this game after all. Good luck!