Many, many people are playing the lottery every single day hoping that they are the next ones to hit the big jackpot. Whether it is the lottery, mega millions, Powerball, or even a scratch-off ticket, you, like everyone else, dream of hitting it big one day. Maybe you dream of buying a brand new house, a new car, or have a dream vacation spot you have always wanted to go to; winning the lottery can be your ticket to that dream. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind if you win the lottery one day. You should know these things now in case your dream does come true.
You have friends now but you will have even more friends that you didn’t even know before if you win the lottery and they find out you did. This is why you should remain anonymous if you are allowed to in your state. You have between 180 days and one year from the date of the drawing to claim your winnings so within this amount of time, you can check your state’s law and find out if you are allowed to remain anonymous. If you are allowed, you can have someone else, like a lawyer, claim it for you. This way those people you didn’t even know you existed won’t be knocking on your door asking for handouts.
Talk to a tax expert before claiming your money
You will want to talk to a tax expert before you even claim your money. Why? The reason is simple. You are going to need advice on how to collect the money you have just won. You can either take it all in one lump sum or take it in payments over so many years which is called an annuity. If you are not good at managing money, taking an annuity would be your best option. Of course, you will have to pay taxes on your winnings. So, if you take it in one lump sum, you will have to pay the taxes all at once on it. However, if you take payments over so many years, you only have to pay taxes every time you get a payment. Whatever you want to do, talk it over with a tax expert before cashing in to ensure you get what you and your tax expert thinks is a fair amount. You do also have 60 days from the time you claim it to figure it all out. You and the tax expert you decide to talk to can weigh the pros and cons within that time frame and decide what to do.
Avoid sudden changes in life
Try to keep your life the same as it always has been for at least the first 6 months after winning and claiming your prize money. This means to not buy prize homes, cars, and don’t quit your job yet. Try to save the big spending for a later time. However, you can set aside some money for celebrating your winnings. Just try not to spend big at first.
Pay off all debt
Paying off all debt can be one of the most important things you can do in your life with your new lottery winnings. Once you pay off all debt you have accumulated over the years, you will feel so much better with your life. Not to mention that you will be able to build your credit back up and you will just have that mountain of debt off your back finally which means no more stress and you will be able to breathe and live stress free for once. Well, you still might have some stress but just not as much as you did when you had all that debt. Paying off the huge debt you had can be one of the best investments you ever make with your prize money.
Hire a team of legal and financial advisers
At a time like this, you are definitely going to need a few people to help you manage your money. You will need a good lawyer in case people do find out about your winnings and think of some hair-brained ways to sue you just to get their hands on some of it and you will also need an accountant and an investment adviser. Not only should you hand-pick your own team but you should also have them work together to ensure your money is safe.
When it is time to choose a lawyer, accountant, and an investment adviser, you will want to speak to each one to make sure you are all on the same page with your money. You will want to do some research on each of them before hiring them. Find out if there have been any complaints made against them and if so, move on to the next one. If there haven’t been any complaints and after talking to them you are sure they are the right team that will not only manage your money for you but keep it safe, then you have a good team to work with. Also, require them to work together so everyone is on the same page. This is especially important because, after all, it is your money and you don’t want it to end up in the wrong hands.
By going by these few tips, you will be able to keep your money safe and managed.