The drawing for that $1.6 billion lottery is going on at 7 pm, and even lottery experts think that the jackpot could reach $2 million by the end of tonight. If you were take home the jackpot, what should you do? You need to take a few steps first to make sure you stay rich for a long time, rather than going broke like 70% of lottery winners.
1. Don't Say Anything, Get Legal Advice
First things first, BE QUIET AND GET AN ATTORNEY. Don't go broadcasting that you just won the lottery when you check that ticket inside your local gas station. Sign your ticket, and take a selfie with it to make sure that you are in fact the one who takes home the prize. Since lottery tickets are bearer instruments, whomever signs the ticket gets the cash.
According to Forbes, right after signing the ticket, you should get legal advice before you even cash in your winnings. First off, find a good financial advisor and an attorney. You need someone that can help you navigate your new rich lifestyle, as well as an attorney to help manage any money hungry people. Don't think you need an attorney? Check out these 11 Lottery winners who died tragically after winning. These include, Craigory Burch, Jr., who died after armed robbers entered his home and demanded his winnings.
2. Wipe Your Social Media
Unless you live in Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio or South Carolina, your name is coming out after you take home the prize. The second it comes out that you won the jackpot, everyone and anyone you know is coming out of the woodwork asking for cash.
Lottery attorney Jason Kurland told Vice that once your name is out, everyone is going to be looking at pictures of you and your family, and you don't want that happening. Even if you cannot stay anonymous because of state laws, you can try to stay as anonymous as possible.
3. Meet With Your Financial Advisor
You will not know what to do with your money, unless your a financial advisor, and I'm willing to bet you probably aren't one. A financial advisor is there to help you navigate your winnings and how to make it last as long as it possibly can. Each lottery case is different, for some, you may want to save the cash, others want to invest in real estate. A financial advisor can help you navigate those waters once you come to them.
4. Pay Off Your Debts
Okay, now that you've hired a financial advisor, a lawyer, and wiped social media, you can start having fun! Kurland recommends first paying off your debts, which is what most lottery winners do anyways.
5. Be Aware of Scams
Everyone is going to want a piece of your cash. Your cousin is going to come at you saying that he has "a plan for a resort in Cabo and only needs $12 million it get it started." Absolutely do not listen to any of these ideas, unless this cousin builds resorts for a living, you're gonna lose the cash. Run every single investment opportunity by your attorney, and most, if not all, these ideas are going to fly away.
All in all, don't play the lottery for investment purposes, it's a gamble that you are more than likely to lose. Being hit by a plane part falling from the sky, winning an Oscar, being struck by lightening, or being crushed by a meteor are all more likely than you winning the lottery.