Congratulations, you  just won a ton of money! Isn’t that the news we would all like to receive one day? We buy a lottery ticket or put a pound in a slot machine and suddenly we hit that big win, the jackpot! Whether it is a few grand or a couple of million, a lot of previous winners can testify that even a large amount of money can get spent quickly and some just don’t know what to do with all that cash.

What to do when you win the lottery

You should be able to keep enjoying your winnings for a long time, at least in our opinion. For this reason, we have composed a list of tips for when you win the lottery or the jackpot.

1.       Don’t advertise it

The worst thing you could probably do is broadcast your win on Facebook or call your entire family – your third cousin included. It’s better to not tell anyone until you actually have the money, just in case something goes wrong. Also, stay anonymous if you can because as soon as the public knows your name, you will most likely be inundated with requests for money and there’s a lot of fraudsters in the world.

2.       Keep your ticket safe

Sounds like a no-brainer but because it’s so logical, people tend to forget. If you’ve got a paper ticket, write your name and signature on the back and put it in a safe. Playing online can be quite handy in this respect, as long as you keep the login details to the account to yourself – consider changing your password. Also, take a screenshot of the ticket in your account or even a picture with your smartphone, just in case.

3.       Take some time to yourself

A big win can be life-changing, especially if you’re talking about millions. Needless to say you will need some time to digest the news and make sure you’re not dreaming. You could take a nice holiday, which is also a good way to celebrate your wealth without going overboard – don’t buy an island. Former chief executive of Camelot Dianne Thompson swears by it.

4.       Seek financial and legal advice

We can’t stress this one enough. Most people who win big aren’t accustomed to handling large amounts of money so a bit of help is necessary. A financial advisor can tell you what the best and safest investments are for your winnings. Having a solicitor is handy to calculate the taxes which you’ll need to pay and for when, among other things, your ex-wife finds out.

5.       Pay off your debts

Say goodbye to your student loan or mortgage! Life is a lot easier when you don’t owe any money, whether it’s to the bank or a friend. The biggest impact would of course come from the mortgage, because now the house you bought really is yours! Also, if your parents helped you out in the past you can now offer to pay them back. Being your parents there is of course a good chance they’ll refuse but it would be rude not to ask.

6.       Don’t quit your job

As tempting as it sounds, avoid handing in your notice as soon as the ball drops or the money is in your bank account. You do need something to keep you busy and it’s good to still have money coming in even though you’re loaded. There might come a day where the money runs out and you’ll need to rely on your payslip once again. Consider working part-time or take a leave of absence, if you want to give yourself a break.

7.       Set yourself a budget

Another wise move that will save you from squandering your money on Ferraris and a villa on each continent. It is best not to make huge changes to your lifestyle so set a budget for normal spending and another for splurging. You are allowed to celebrate your win a little, after all.

8.       Be generous

Although detailed information can’t be shared if the winners choose to stay anonymous, most people donate large sums to charity. Also, even if you shouldn’t make wild promises to everyone you can still do good. Why not pay your brother’s mortgage too, while you’re at it? Your best friend from university could see his student debt evaporate and your parents can finally make that trip to New York. We call that a win-win(-win-win) situation.

Featured image courtesy of iosphere at

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