Last week we looked at the lottery curse, and ten things you should never do if you win the lottery, many of you asked us, instead about what you should do if you win the lottery, so to help you succeed where others have failed, here’s a list we’ve compiled of 10 things you should do if you win the lottery.
Don’t tell anyone, the single most important rule for maintaining sanity after winning the lottery is do everything you can to keep your precious and anonymity intact, don’t share the news with your friends neighbors co-workers or even your family, resist even the urge to tell your spouse or significant other, at least for the time being, the lottery commission may also offer to have you appear on TV for a press conference refuse it otherwise you will never be anonymous, you can always tell your friends after all the excitement has died down if you choose to ignore this advice your reward will be a flood of phone calls and letters begging for cash and estranged family members turning against you.
Wait before you claim your prize, remember that the state lottery Commission will publicize the identity of every claimant and often lottery winners are permitted to claim their prizes months after the drawing, so you must not rush in to collect your winnings when you’re not fully prepared, instead, you should place your ticket into a clean Ziploc bag and temporarily stash it someplace away from excessive heat and prying eyes.
Act casual, without tipping anyone off, you should make photocopies of your tickets, that you have evidence that you did, in fact, win the lottery, also it’s important not to suddenly act strangely, otherwise your friends and co-workers may pick up on your sudden change in behavior and find out your life-changing secret.
Rent a safe deposit box, contact your bank and see if they have any vacant safe deposit boxes tell them you’re going on a trip and you need to store some documents for a few months, when you go down to the bank in person to open your box bring the ticket along with some other fake papers and of course don’t lose your safety deposit key.
Immediately retain an attorney, if you fail to keep your anonymity you will likely be flooded with frivolous lawsuits, so it’s important to get a partner from a larger national firm, do not use your local attorney this includes your long-standing family attorney who did your mother’s will, do not use the guy who fought your dry cleaner bill, do not use the lawyer you have trusted your entire life because of his long and faithful service to your family, in fact, do not use any law firm that has any connection to your family or friends you want someone who has never heard of you, to accomplish this you should drive to the nearest major city and walk into one of those national firms and ask for one of their trusts and states partners unlike small-time lawyers, lawyers from larger firms deal with wealthy clients on a daily basis.
Open a blind trust, if you win the lottery you should hire your tax attorney once your client the lawyer is legally bound to maintain your confidentiality, tell them you want to open a blind trust in order to claim the lottery prize as an anonymous trustee, this way all contact with the lottery commission will be made through your lawyer and you’re more likely to protect yourself and your anonymity.
Contact a financial planner, rich people don’t stay that way without a little planning if you have the choice between annual payments and a single large payout you should consider the lump sum lottery payout, it’s less money total but it’s probably about the same as an annuity if you take the lump sum and invest it in interest-bearing savings thongs, however, the single large payout may incur a higher tax rate the point is to ask your tax expert so you beat the odds and don’t end up bankrupt like most lottery winners.
Tie up any loose ends at this point it is critical to pay all outstanding traffic fines and parking tickets catch up on your alimony or child support payments and to settle any debts if you don’t take care of all these potential issues you could end up in jail or in court once a national attention is focused on you this is especially true if you have any unpaid debts, if it is discovered that you are a multimillionaire it is highly probable that anyone you owe money to will try to take as much money as possible from you.
Draft or update your last will and testament if there ever a time for a state finding it’s now do this before you let your own family know about your winnings so that they won’t try to influence how your will is structure if this happens family members may try to contest your will in tort, this way everything regarding your estate will be set in stone and family members will bother you less if what happens to your money in the event of your death has already been legally determined.
Move away, it is best to move out of state if you win the lottery or possibly even out of the country you can’t expect to keep a lid on your secret forever and if you tell one person they will tell another, and before you know it your entire hometown knows about your newfound fortune also you should be sure to get an unlisted phone number if you live in a small town you will never be able to blend in again everyone will know you are a lottery winner and work hard to get a slice of your fortune, lottery winners and small Midwest towns have often been the victims of scams where the unscrupulous neighbors purposely injure themselves on a lottery winners property just so they can sue, so despite whatever feelings you may have for your hometown it is smarter to move away and find a new home.
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