Top Things to Do If you Have Won the Lottery
You have just checked the UK Lotto results and found out that you actually won the jackpot. This is definitely a dream come true and you believe that you won’t have any money problems anymore. With the right money management, this could certainly happen, but if you don’t take the steps needed, you will end up like most of the lottery winners out there; out of cash within a few years. This is especially important if you don’t have smart money habits and will end up squandering the money unless you take some precautions. But, before any of that, the very first thing you need to do is secure your ticket.
If you have a physical ticket, make sure it is signed and keep it somewhere safe. If it is online, make backups to ensure you have a copy in case your account is hacked. Once this is done, you can follow the steps outlined below:
- Remain anonymous if permitted
Can you remain anonymous if you win the lottery? This is the first thing that all lottery winners need to know to protect your privacy and ensure your safety. If people find out you are wealthy, it is a given that you will be badgered by requests from friends, family and charities. Therefore, check the lottery rules and that of your state and country to see if it is possible for you to keep your identity safe. Some people ask others to claim on their behalf; others form trusts for this purpose. Lotteries usually offer some time to winners to come forward and claim and you should take advantage of it instead of claiming right away.
- Consult a tax professional before cashing the ticket
Before you claim your winnings, you also need to see a tax professional as they can guide you about the tax implications involved. Lotteries give you the option of claiming a lump sum or taking the winnings in installments and the tax imposed on each option is different. Thus, it is recommended that you be aware of the obligations before you make a choice between these options.
- Pay off all debts you have
There is no better investment for anyone than paying off the money you owe. Why? As you are in debt, you are probably paying interest and this is only taking your money away. Instead of paying interest, you could use this money elsewhere. So, it is a good idea to immediately pay off your debts.
- Hire a team of financial and legal advisers
Last, but most important, you need the services of financial and legal advisers to help you in investing your money prudently. You want to choose options that can give you high returns in the long run and don’t carry a lot of risk. Financial and legal advisers will be able to guide you through this process thereby preventing you from blowing away your money on unnecessary items.
Take these steps and you will be able to enjoy your winnings for years to come.