The lottery is one of the world’s most popular games where players pay a small amount of money to select a group of numbers or have machines randomly spit them out. They win a prize, usually cash, if the numbers match those drawn by a machine. The player base is disproportionately lower-income, less educated, nonwhite and male, according to Newsy.
While winning the lottery is an incredible feat of luck, there are still a few steps winners must take to get the most out of their newfound wealth. It may seem like the obvious first step is to go shopping or buy a dream home, but experts say that’s not always what lottery winners do with their money.
A common mistake is telling too many people about the win. While it’s understandable that some want to congratulate you, keeping your name out of the media and only talking to trusted family and friends is crucial for maintaining your privacy and avoiding scammers.
Lottery winners should also hire tax accountants and legal advisors to make sure they’re properly handling their newfound wealth. They’ll help them decide whether to take their winnings as a lump sum or in annuity payments, a process that divides the total into annual installments.
Finally, lottery winners should find a good financial planner. Sadly, I’ve known three winners who within 5 years went broke due to their lack of education about money and the “hubris” that comes with their new found wealth.