Imagine you play EuroMillions Online and become wealthy overnight. Being a winner of a multimillion-dollar lottery has to be amazing. It certainly is going to be a life-changing event for almost every EuroMillion lottery winner. If you are lucky enough to win a lottery, please watch for some of the uncomplicated mistakes, and complex mistakes, that winners make. But even though we all dream of winning the lottery, not too many of us are prepared to handle what comes next. In fact, your lucky day could turn into your unlucky day if you’re not careful.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most important things you can do to avoid becoming a loser after winning.
Before Claiming Your Prize
Placing a good foundation is important to making the most of your lucky fortune. Before you hurry to claim your winnings, address the following items first:
- Protect That Ticket and Take Your Time
First of all, shield your winning lottery ticket. Make paper copies, store digital copies, invest in a home safe or take the ticket to the banks safe deposit box.
Once you have your ticket assured, take your time and contact the lottery authorities. Most lotteries give winners up to 160 or 365 days to claim their prize, so taking a week off before claiming you can do a lot for your mental state.
- Don’t Quit Your Job Just Yet
It is what you have always dreamed of quitting your job to retire to the islands with a cold refreshing drink, right? But don’t make that decision too fast. You have financial planning to address and you want to be sure you didn’t go wrong with the numbers or the date on your “winning” lottery ticket.
Just remember to keep your good luck quiet at work too. A silent smile is all you need. Otherwise, word could get out before you’re ready and your employer may start looking for a replacement.
- Hire Professionals
You probably aren’t a tax attorney, a family attorney, or a licensed accountant. When you win a lottery jackpot, you need to surround yourself with professionals. Hire yourself a good adviser who is well-versed in financial issues, as well as a solid fee-based financial advisor and a CPA.
You are going to need them to help you make the best decisions for your future. Moreover, if you feel uncomfortable about any advice you receive, get a second opinion. You can afford it.
- Change the Address and Go Unlisted
Once word gets out that you’ve won millions, you are going to hear from a lot of people with their hands out. Charities, family, long-lost friends, work acquaintances, investment advisors, you name it – you will hear from them all.
Before claiming your money, get a new phone number, and get a post office box for your mail. This will make it harder for some of these people to find you.
When Claiming Your Prize
You can receive your lottery winnings either as a “lump-sum” or as an annual payment spread out over 20 to 30 years. Lottery players used to have to choose between a lump sum or long-term payments before paying for their tickets, but a law in 1998 changed it so you can select after you win. There are pros and cons to both choices, so consider each option carefully.
Taking the whole Payment
When you take a lump sum payout, you won’t actually receive the full jackpot amount. The advertised, winning the jackpot amount is based on the lottery paying you through an annuity over 20 or 30 years and not all at once.
So when you take the lump sum, they pay you the current cash value of the jackpot, which is much less than each annual payment added up. More often than not, this reduced amount equals about half of whatever the winning amount was. But that doesn’t mean the lump sum payment short-changes you.
After Claiming Your Prize
OK, so you have made the necessary arrangements before asking for your winnings and you decided how you want to be paid. Now what?
- Talk to the People You Hired
If you hired the right people, they are there to help, so use them often. If you find that you don’t trust them, hire new people. This kind of wealth can be scary if you’re not used to it, so seek qualified help and use it to make informed decisions.
- Pay Off Debt
Whether it’s leftover student loans, a second mortgage, credit cards, or auto loans, pay off the debt you’ve carried around for years.
You may want to keep your primary mortgage as long as it has a low interest rate. This is because the more money you have, the higher tax share you’re often in, and the more important tax deductions become. Either way, get rid of all your high interest debt, and then consult with your professionals to determine what to do with the rest.
- Start an Emergency Fund
Even millionaires run into financial problems, sometimes more so than the rest of us! Setting up a healthy-sized emergency fund is one of the smartest things you can do with your winnings. A good rule of thumb is to set aside enough to pay for six months of expenses.
- Put Away Money for Retirement
Allocate a share of your winnings to retirement accounts, such as an annuity. You don’t want to have to go back to work at 80 after being a jackpot winner, do you?
- Set up College Funds
Do you have kids or want to provide for someone else’s kids? Giving tax-free gifts toward a love one’s education can be quite rewarding.
- Giving the Less Fortunate
Whether it’s to an Orphanage, a school, or just to a family member facing hard times, share some of your good fortune with them. Plus, when you give to a qualified charity, you get to deduct the donation on your taxes!
If you’re looking to play the lottery, check out Play EuroMillions – Play the official UK lottery online
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