Lottery-winning adviceCongratulations! You are one in 292 millions. No doubt you did a triple- or quadruple take when you first saw the winning numbers. You may have rubbed your eyes and felt your heart racing as you looked at the winning numbers. You might have fallen to your knees looking up at the heavens with your arms outstretched. Maybe you started to hyperventilate. All of these reactions could be normal to an extremely abnormal event.
You will soon own seven hundred sixty eight million dollars. It's not quite true. Cash option: You get "only" $477 millions. About that. Uncle Sam will be paying $176.5million in taxes. Wisconsin wants their share, too. The remaining $36.5 million goes. However, it's still Monopoly Money.
Your $768 million winning ticket will bring you approximately $264million (cash option, net tax included). It is still quite an amount of money, I think. Perhaps this will help to put it in perspective: One million seconds is 11.6 days; 264,000,000 seconds is 8.4 Years.
These five tips will help you stay safe as you embark upon this new adventure.
- Avoid publicity and shield your identity. This couple won't be appearing on The Today Show until they claim the prize. Only tell close friends. It is worth considering deleting social media accounts or changing your phone number. Wisconsin prohibits lottery winners from claiming their prize anonymously. Discuss your options with your advisors, (see below).
- Be sure to get all your ducks in one row before you claim your prize. Find out how long it takes for a winner in your state to come forward. It is usually 90 days or more. You can photocopy the ticket and keep it safe. Find at least three excellent advisors. An attorney, an accountant and an investment advisor are all good options. Interview at most three financial/investment advisory companies and pay special attention to those that are fee-only. Ask these advisors what the pros and con of each lottery claim method is: cash or annual payments for 30 years.
- Find a purpose. Many lottery winners work at some level. Insufficient purpose and too much leisure can lead to financial problems and relationships. Get advice from lottery winners who have been there and done that.
- Choose your legacy. This is where you decide what type of impact that you want, whether it be through charities or your own foundation. To see what is possible, work with your advisors. Learn how much fun and enjoyment you can have. If you spend your money in these areas, you can purchase happiness.
Learn to say no - If you say yes to someone or something, you are also saying no to five other people/things. It will be easier to identify your family and friends who need assistance. The gifts you give to your friends and family don't necessarily have to be extravagant. Don't forget to mention that loans to relatives are considered gifts.
Congratulations on this new chapter in your life. We wish you the best of luck with your lottery win. Your quality of life will improve and your money will last.