“I Won! Now What?” Financial Tips from Lottery Winners Who Did It Right

‘The winner takes it all,’ Abba were right, but what happens after the big win? How on earth do you keep your feet on the ground after coming into a life-changing amount of cash?

One day you’re scraping to pay the utility bills. The next you can afford to fly around the world first class a hundred times. It’s enough to blow your mind. That’s exactly what can happen.

Far from living the dream, some people will end up living the nightmare. They won’t be able to cope with such a sudden change of fortune.

Intense anxiety, relationship break-ups, fear, and guilt are common in situations like these. Psychologists have a name for it, ‘Sudden wealth syndrome.’

So, what are the best ways to deal with new found wealth? We’re going to look at lottery winners who did it right. All our top tips come from the people who know best.

Take Your Time

The first thing to do is to be absolutely sure you are a lottery winner. You can read more here to check whether or not you’ve won.

So you are the winner. Next, you should look into the rules to find out how long you have to claim your prize. Can you take the prize as a lump sum or an annual annuity? Will the regulations allow you to choose to remain anonymous?

It’s wise to take a breath and resist the temptation to claim your win. This will let you gather around you the people you need to manage your win.

You Can Afford a Top Team

Let’s face it, you’re not experienced in handling vast sums of money. Previous winners recommend bringing in the experts. You should immediately seek legal representation. That should happen even before you even claim your prize.

Your team will help and advise you about how to get the most from your winnings. They’re there to protect you. As well as a lawyer, you’ll need an accountant and a financial advisor.

You will need to make decisions about investing your money. You’ll also need advice about handling requests for money.

The Biggest Choice of All

Winners are often given a choice of how to receive their winnings. They can either accept a smaller amount all at once, or they can get the whole amount over many years.

Deciding which way to receive your win is not an easy choice. There are tax issues involved. Your age may also be a consideration. Whatever your gut reaction is, you should definitely seek advice before making any decision.

Privacy Rules

You’ve won! You want to shout it from the rooftops. However, if people know you’re super-rich, then you’ve become a target.

It’s best than to be very selective about who you tell about your big win. In the short term, keep life as normal. It’s wise though to start looking ahead about how you will handle your new celebrity status.

Former lottery winners advise deleting social media accounts. Direct any inquiries about your new found wealth to your lawyer.

Remember that all of a sudden what you say will be of interest in the public domain. You should the consider being careful about what you say.

One Step at a Time

The advice is not to make any major changes straight away. So, don’t walk out of your job and don’t make any dramatic purchases.

We all need some routine in our lives. Complete disruption of the norm could actually make life very difficult. Take small steps. With the help of your financial advisor, create a new personal budget.

You should also consider the possibility of only spending the interest on your winnings. That will mean you won’t blow your lump sum.

What Lottery Winners Who Did It Right Say

Dealing with a large win is likely to thrust you into the limelight. If speaking in public doesn’t come easily then you could face some tough challenges.

You may want to be just left alone but that might not be possible. Some winners talk of being targeted by online phishing scams. Others have been sued in frivolous lawsuits by people who hope they can get a share of the winnings.

There’s also the issue of dealing with people who will want to befriend you because of your new-found wealth. Charities along with those who have their own financial difficulties will all be asking for help. It’s all a lot to deal with.

You may also want to consider hiring a psychologist or therapist who can help you with the extra emotional issues you will have to deal with.

Stay Close to Your Loved Ones

You should really try to keep your loved ones close to you. It’s easy to slip into the trap of thinking that your friends and family are after your money.

Keep up the same activities you’ve always liked to participate in. Continue to invest in the friendships you’ve had for years. That means remembering that your friends may not be able to keep up with the new options your wealth has given you.

Treating your friends with kindness and offering them something which they will like but are unable to afford is a wonderful gesture.

You’re in Control

If moderation doesn’t come easily to you, then you will need to exert control over access to your cash. Use your financial advisor to help with this.

You’re going to need some time to get used to your new situation. Previous winners suggest letting yourself have one luxury that you may have always dreamed of. That could be a car or a trip to your dream destination.

Once you’ve done that, it’s time to get back down to earth. Living sensibly and keeping your feet firmly on the ground is going to be the best advice any previous winner can ever give you.

Enjoy Your New Life

Winning a vast sum of money is going to take you into new territory. The best advice you can get will be from lottery winners who did it right. They’ve already been when you are.

Life is for living so join us here to get more personal finance news and advice. We’re there to inform, empower and entertain you.