You’ve Beaten the Odds! Things to Do If You Win the Lottery

posted by Chris Valentine

A list of important things to do if you win the lottery. Take these steps and enjoy your winnings!

If you’ve ever fallen down the rabbit hole of fixating on all the things to do if you win the lottery, you’re not alone. Millions of people around the globe share these daydreams. And while they differ quite a bit in detail, they share one thing in common.

The ideas of being “set for life” or “never having to work again.” But the reality is this. You don’t have to look far for examples of how it can be miserable, no matter where you win it.

In the following article, we’ll discuss ways to avoid the so-called “lottery curse” once you win. Let’s get started.

1. Do Not Claim It Immediately

So the premise of this article assumes you’ve already won. Congratulations! Now it’s the time we figure out what you plan to do with it.

It may seem counterintuitive, but the first act of what to do if you win the lottery is to not actually claim it. Say what?

You heard us correctly. Leave it be. The EuroMillions and most other large-scale lotteries provide a generous grace period of time where the prize will be on hold. Use it wisely.

We know it’s tempting to get your hands on the money as soon as possible. But a few days won’t matter in the grand scheme of things. And you can use this time to get your affairs in order.

The process should start with envisioning how your life is about to change. Sure, you don’t have to worry about making rent anymore. But there are other concerns, and you can take this time to flesh those out in your head.

2. Shut Down Your Social Media Pages

Social media shines an often intrusive spotlight on your everyday life. Imagine what that’ll be like if it gets out that you’re suddenly millions richer.

You can always come back when the smoke clears. But the first thing to do after winning lottery money is to make yourself less accessible to the masses.

Wealth places an overwhelming social (and sometimes criminal) target on your back. If ever there was a time to keep a low profile, this is it!

3. Meet with an Attorney

An attorney could cost a significant amount of money. Even so, it’ll be a fraction of most lottery winnings. And it’ll pay huge dividends on the backend as you work to protect your earnings and identity.

Plus, if there is a way to stay anonymous, your attorney will know the legal requirements that need to be met. They’ll also help you take those steps.

This “if I win the lottery” necessity may not be immediately obvious. But it could save your life and protect your privacy, so, by all means, take it.

4. Line Up a Financial Planner

An attorney can protect your legal interests. But investing your money and planning your financial future isn’t their forté.

For that, you’ll want to enlist the help of a certified financial planner. Look for someone with the two T’s: trustworthiness and a track record. Specifically, how many clients do they manage, what’s the number of assets under management, and what returns have they produced over one-, five-, and 10-year periods?

This is one of the best things to do if you win the lottery because it helps you control your urges. It also helps you be more mindful of the financial risks associated with such a drastic lifestyle change.

5. Claim It!

You’re only ready to claim the prize once you’ve really considered how your life is about to change, and you’ve got the legal and financial support in place. Keep your good fortune quiet until you’ve made physical contact with the prize office and made everything official. This also is the time to execute any legal and financial documents that will help protect your estate.

6. Wipe Out All Your Debts

The money is now in hand. We’re hoping that part of your financial planning included taking inventory of all the debt that you have to your name. Debt usually comes in the following forms:

  • High-interest credit cards
  • Home mortgages
  • Home improvement loans
  • Student loans
  • Automobile loans
  • Delinquent taxes

Add them up and pay them off. Even if there’s an early repayment penalty, that’s a price worth paying for a clean financial slate. So pay it!

7. Create a Budget for Moving Forward

Now’s the fun part. You’ve taken inventory of your debt, wiped it out, and protected all of your legal and financial interests. All that’s left is to add up your remaining living expenses so you’ll know the bare minimum necessary for maintaining the current standard of living.

Start where you are as if you haven’t won the lottery. Yes, the debt is clear but everything else is exactly the same as it was. This thought exercise will help you temper your expectations and maintain a reasonable standard of living as you adjust to your newfound wealth.

8. Change Your Mindset

Once you’re through with the budgeting exercise, it’s time to get to the heart of who you were before the win and who you need to become. To understand this, you need to know the difference between the poverty mindset and the wealth mindset.

The poverty mindset dictates that money is for spending. Because it’s so scarce, you have to spend what you’ve got whenever you’ve got it. This leads to some really bad decisions once you do fall into money.

Wealth, on the other hand, is usually built in small increments over time. This encourages a more conservative approach in dealing with it. You have to start seeing money in the way the wealth mindset does.

Doing so will keep you from making frivolous purchases. It’ll also protect you against any economic downturns or drastic changes to tax law.

Following These Things to Do If You Win the Lottery Will Keep You Wealthy

The above checklist of things to do if you win the lottery is designed to help you thrive as a lottery winner. And given the track record of lottery winner horror stories, it’s a good idea to keep them all handy once you win.

If you haven’t won yet, we hope you do. Just remember your friends at Odd Culture when you do, and stay on top of our business and finance news here.

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