Walking away with a lottery jackpot is never an easy thing to do, especially given that the whole game is based on unpredictability or chance. That’s why winning one out of nowhere is one of the most amazing things that an individual can ever achieve in their life. But whether they win or not at the end of the day, most lottery players always think about the sort of things they wish to buy once they win.
To tell you the truth, there really is no limitation to the kind of things that you can buy with your winnings. Because it’s your money, it falls on you to decide what to spend it on. Unfortunately, that’s where the problem lies. Some lottery winners are not good at managing their money due to the excitement of spending their money on just about anything they set their minds to. Because of that, they end up spending their money way faster than they expected to hold on to it.
That’s why you need to properly strategize how you’re going to spend all your winnings so you don’t end up regretting it later. So without further ado, here is a list of some of the best things you can do with your lottery winnings:
Things to do with a lottery jackpot
- Protect your lottery ticket
The first thing you’re going to want to do is to protect your winning lottery ticket. And why should you do this? The reason is that nobody keeps track of who owns the numbers to their lottery tickets. If you’re going to claim your prize money, you need to show some identification that matches the signature on the back of the ticket. If you lose sight of that ticket, say goodbye to your winnings.
In case you do lose the physical copy of your ticket, you should be prepared to make several physical and digital copies of your ticket, the latter of which should be done either in your external drive or an encrypted cloud storage account.
- Don’t tell anyone about your winnings
Some states suggest that Winners remain anonymous after they win the lottery in their hometown. The reason behind this is because the winners will constantly be pestered for handouts from just about everyone, like your friends and family members, for instance, charity organizations, or even long-lost relatives or friends as well.
A previous lottery winner by the name of Mavis Wanczyk (who had won the Powerball lottery of $758.7 Million) made the mistake of telling not only her boss about her jackpot but the rest of the world as well.
Before long, random individuals started sprouting out of nowhere, forcing the police to look out for Mavis due to this phenomenon.
There are other scary people that you need to look out for who may take advantage of your winnings, including:
- A long-distance relative or friend who may want you to invest in their idea
- Skinny “wealth managers” doing anything to bleed you dry.
It might be okay to let your siblings and parents know about your savings, but we wouldn’t recommend expanding the circle beyond that.
- Be wary of your ticket’s expiration date
How many lotteries come with an expiration date, especially for the winning tickets. Therefore, it falls on you to know exactly when you can claim your winnings before the last date. Of course, there is no pressure in turning in your ticket for the due date, at the expiration date can last for months or even up to a year after the lottery is done. But be sure to keep that expiration date in mind and turn it in before the due date.
- Find a reliable financial planner
It’s only logical to go to a doctor when you’re sick and a mechanic if your vehicle is experiencing any engine problems. Similarly, a reputable and trustworthy financial planner will know exactly what to do with your lottery winnings.
A proper financial manager will run you through several issues related to winning a ticket, like taking all of the money out in one lump sum against regular annuity payments a year, learning how to manage your newfound wealth as you go forward, and dealing with tax issues related to your winnings.
Suppose you don’t know any financial planner. In that case, you can ask people you know for references or even visit the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors’ official website, which contains a list of highly respected money managers that can help you out.
- Pay all of your debts
Honestly, there’s no greater way to make use of your lottery jackpot than paying off all of your college and other types of debts. Whether it is in the form of mortgage or credit card debt, the return rate is equal to the interest rate on loan. And with the kind of insane yields on some of the safer investments like CDs and Treasurys, that sentiment is really true. Even paying a single dollar of your debt means that you no longer have to owe that dollar ever again.
- Don’t leave your job just yet
It may be tempting to discard your regular 9:00 to 5:00 job just cuz you’re now swimming in millions, but don’t get any ideas about leaving where you work just yet.
The reason for this is that there could be a slight chance that you may be mistaken about your winning ticket numbers. Or perhaps you didn’t collect your winnings before the expiration date. Believe us; we know what it’s like to work at a dreadful workplace where the job is tedious, and the pay isn’t that good.
But, unless you’ve confirmed you are indeed the recipient of a million or something dollars and that you have verified from your email, then you can think about something better. But as we said earlier, you need to work with a financial manager as we said earlier, so you don’t end up becoming broke instead of being well off.