Winning the lottery takes a tremendous amount of luck and for some people, consistency of trusting in the same number patterns over and over again for many years until they either give up or finally win big.
On the off-chance you’re fortunate enough to be the holder of the lucky ticket, it’s important that you follow the following steps to make sure you handle the windfall the smartest and most practical way possible.
1. Secure your ticket – and keep it with you all the time
As a bearer instrument, a lottery ticket can belong to anyone – together with a valid photo ID, whoever signs it can claim the prize. Make sure it’s secured, properly signed and in good condition.
2. Don’t tell anyone – not even your coworkers
If the state where you live permits it, it’s wiser to stay anonymous not just for your safety but also for your peace of mind. However, in some states like New York, the names of the winners become public record.
3. Let a professional handle your tax questions
After winning the lottery, you have two options: take the money all at once or agree on an annuity where you can receive your winnings in installments (for a specific period, like 30 years). This advice matters a lot for one reason: the total amount of tax that you have to pay. Taking the lump sum means paying for the entire taxable amount immediately while annuity lets you pay taxes in installments.
4. Clear your debts and invest
Take care of your mortgage, your credit card debts, and any other financial issues that you have at the moment. It’s also wise to put your money in secure investments in varied assets to minimize risks (to know more, consult with an advisor at LOM Financial).
5. Find a reliable team to handle your legal and financial decisions
Remember that there will always be people who will take advantage of you, especially if you’re not really an expert when it comes to managing your finances and handling your wealth. Find a trustworthy and reliable team of experts, legal, and financial professionals who will help and guide you every step of the way.