12 things not to do if you win the lottery

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Jon C. Ogg

Wall Street 24/7

  • Don’t tell everyone you know or become the big generous player
  • Think carefully before deciding to take the initial money
  • Don’t ignore a budget or think you’re an expert at managing your money

Imagine becoming extremely rich overnight. To be a multi-million dollar lottery winner must be amazing. This is sure to be a life-changing event for almost every lottery winner. But what if the prize is an astronomical sum of $100 million, $200 million or $300 million? If you are lucky enough to win the lottery, please avoid some of the simple mistakes and complex mistakes that have driven other winners out of business.

Imagine being Joe Somebody and becoming Sir Joe the Magnificent overnight. Now imagine the unthinkable that Sir Joe could become Joe the Village Idiot in a very short time. Supposedly, most lottery winners end up broke again. That doesn’t seem fair at all.

24/7 Wall St. decided to come up with 12 essential things not to do if you’re a lottery winner. We have reviewed numerous research papers and other articles on the subject of who lands instant riches against the odds. It seems too cruel to imagine that many winners become losers. There is a saying that you only have to get rich once. Some people just can’t help but avoid the pitfalls of instant wealth.

Although there are plenty of lists about what you should do if you win, it’s surprising how few actual warnings can be used as a guide to scare tactics that urge lottery winners to do what they want. should. Did you know you could become a target if you are a lotto winner? Some people find instant enemies, and some people turn out to be their worst enemy. It might have been very difficult to spend $30 million in 30 days on “Brewster’s Millions” in the mid-1980s, but it could be done easily and possibly in a single day now.

Some points may overlap or seem redundant, but there are plenty of pitfalls that snag lottery winners or those who find themselves incredibly rich in a very short time.

Here are 12 things not to do if you win the lottery:

Forgetting to sign a ticket or report it to the state. After doing some research, we find that this is apparently the simplest and easiest mistake to make. Can you imagine losing a lottery ticket? Then imagine what can happen if someone else grabs your ticket and shows up to collect the prize. Fighting for it is not a simple task. In a way, lottery tickets are the latest form of bearer bonds anyone collects if they show up with the coupons and bonds.

Tell everyone you know. If you make that much money, chances are you want to brag about it. How could you not? The problem is that telling everyone you know before collecting puts you at risk, and in more ways than one. Anyone who has ever done anything for you now can come with their hands outstretched asking for something, or worse. You’ve probably heard of kidnap and ransom insurance. A recent lottery winner was even the victim of what appears to be murder. If you can manage it, and if your condition allows it, try to remain anonymous for as long as humanly possible. Either way, it will be discovered how you have become extremely rich over time, but there is no need to hurry.

Automatically decide to take the initial money. Supposedly, around 70% of lottery winners end up broke again, many within a few years or years. If you get $172 million up front, that might sound better than having to receive a $300 million payout slowly over a lifetime. After all, it’s instant money for the empire. Go see a legitimate tax and investment advisor at a major fund management firm, a theme you’ll see here throughout, before automatically making that decision about a lump sum or annuity payment option.

Think you are the smartest person to manage your money and finances. If you’re going from paycheck to paycheck, do you think you know the best things to invest in and the best tax and asset protection strategies? Your drinking buddy may not be the best choice either. Having a solid and respectable team in place will act as your buffer that protects your assets now and in the future. Do you know how to protect your assets against all threats and do you know exactly how to protect your wealth in the event of death or incapacity? If you answered yes, you probably didn’t bother playing the lottery.

Let your debts stay in place. If you get the “I’m rich and I don’t have to pay anymore” bug, you could be doomed. Whether you opt for the lump sum payment or the annuity option, if you have a single penny of debt in the immediate and distant future, then something is seriously wrong. Besides, you should never have a single debt again. If you manage to break down on the road and still have a mortgage, car payments, student loans, credit card debt and personal bills, all your friends and family should be able to spank you. or ridicule you every day for the rest of your life. .

Become the big generous player, live the life. If you go from living a simple life to having the instant ability to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) a week, what do you think will happen to your expectations in the life to come? Chances are you want more of the same. If you start playing in Las Vegas and aren’t satisfied until you’re betting hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) per game, you’re dooming yourself. Wait for the real scammers to find you. Taking you and your favorite 50 people on a luxury cruise around the world can get very expensive, very fast.

Buy everything for everyone, or even for yourself. Don’t go out and buy dozens of cars followed by houses and whatever else for you, your friends and family members. This will set you on the wrong track and you could easily become the next friends and family welfare service. If you start buying everything for everyone, chances are they’ll expect it to last forever. You don’t have to be a cheapskate, but after hearing the personal story of someone buying over 30 cars and multiple homes in three months, it’s just crazy.

Say to hell with a budget. Maybe it sounds crazy that you have to live within your means when earning money for empire. After all, you are now richer than everyone you know combined. It also comes down to having advisors and being careful, but at the end of the day you always have a finite amount of money. Chances are you’ll make some serious purchases and change your lifestyle forever. Not setting limits on yourself and what you do with others is a recipe for disaster. Still. most lottery winners go bankrupt.

Become the business support of all your friends and family. A common theme that comes up with lottery winners (and judgment winners) who suddenly receive huge sums of money is that their friends and family start pitching them endless business ideas. Of course, some will sound good and some will sound crazy. If someone has no knowledge of a particular business and doesn’t know what it takes to run a business, will they do better because a lottery winner who was lucky enough to have a great wealth gave him money to start it? If your answer is yes, you seriously need to protect yourself (from yourself).

Give the whole enchilada. This is probably not the case for the vast majority of lottery players, but some people might want to donate almost all of their money to a charity or their religious institution. You can be generous without doing the unthinkable. Imagine how you will feel later when a serious crisis occurs in your life or that of your family, knowing that you no longer had the means to remedy it. Should we be charitable? Absolutely! Do you have to give it all? Absolutely not!

Get the envy of celebrities and athletes. Following the Jons is bad enough, but definitely don’t try following the Kardashians or other celebrities. It might sound cool to own a 200ft yacht. It may seem convenient for certain celebrities to have an entourage, or for a film crew to follow you around. It might sound cool to own castles in Europe. Owning an original Picasso painting certainly sounds impressive. Having a new big private jet makes sense to a lot of people. Trying to dodge taxes can even seem appealing to the misguided. Now go add up the price tags of these things, plus the cool cars and houses and the like. You can ruin yourself very quickly. Just ask the likes of Nicolas Cage, Wesley Snipes, MC Hammer, Evander Holyfield, and many other famous people who had it all and ended up breaking down how they feel about things.

Think that the laws and standards of decency no longer apply. It is true that the richer you become, the better lawyers and legal defense you can afford. That being said, living a reckless life without caring about the laws of the land won’t save you from going to jail (or worse). Movies often glorify villains, but what good is it to you if you’re incredibly rich and such an outcast no one will associate you with? Remember that you cannot take anything with you.

Rue du Mur 24/7. is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news and commentary. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

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