Firstly, if you’re reading this, and you’ve already won the lottery, congratulations. A sudden injection of wealth, no matter how large or small, can be life-changing and overwhelming. Despite all the unfortunate stories of unforeseen drama that can come with winning the lottery, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Let’s go through a few steps to take should you ever find yourself a winner.
Tips for Lottery Winners
Try to Stay Anonymous
The ability to stay anonymous will depend on the state or jurisdiction in which you’ve won the lottery. (Lottery winners in Louisiana might not be able to remain anonymous under the law.) If it’s allowed, remain anonymous. A lot of the problems that can come from winning the lottery comes from the large and instant public notoriety you’ll receive. Protecting your privacy can help eliminate or reduce requests for money.
Be Sure to Consult Professionals
Seems simple enough, but the best advice you’ll get will always come from professionals. Seek out financial experts. They’ll help you navigate any possible pitfalls and complications that may come from your newfound wealth.
Choose What Payment Is Right for You; Lump Sum or Annuity
If you win the lottery, you can choose between a lump sum payment or an annuity paid out to you over time. Factors like the amount of money instantly taxed from the lump sum, or your age when you’ve won, can help you decide what’s best for you.
Pay off Your Debt
Taking a portion of your winnings to pay off any existing credit card debt, outstanding loans, or other debts can help reduce financial stress. It can also place you in a position for long term financial stability moving forward.
Create a Budget and Stick to It
It can be very tempting to just go wild and spend like you’ve never spent before, but creating a budget (and then sticking to it) should be among the first steps you take after winning the lottery. Take time to develop a spending plan that reflects your new income, upgraded living expenses, and any potential charitable gifts you wish to make.
Working with the financial experts you will have contacted will be instrumental with this step in the process. They’ll guide you through making sound investment decisions to diversify your new portfolio, set financial goals, and eliminate risky investments.
Be on Guard for Request for Money
Despite your best efforts, friends and family, and other people, will learn of your new wealth and the requests for money will come. Try to be thoughtful about who and when you decide to give money, as it can quickly turn from reasonable charity to irresponsible wasting.
Lastly, Enjoy Your Wealth
Don’t ever forget to be present and live in the moment. The new financial freedom you have should be a positive experience. Take time to enjoy the luxury of possibly retirement, travel, and other leisure you might not have been able to experience before winning the lottery.
For any other questions, the Louisiana Lottery has a very helpful FAQ page.
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