Having won the lottery may be considered one of the luckiest things that could happen to you, but not everyone who wins a large sum of money is able to handle it. Some have been known to lose it all or even end up dead shortly after their win. Whether it was because they gambled away too much, racked up a string of legal entanglements or simply squandered their winnings, these lottery winners were unable to maintain their newfound wealth.
The top priority for lottery winners (and anyone who comes into sudden wealth) is to assemble a team of experts that includes an accountant, a lawyer and a financial advisor. “These people can help you avoid making stupid mistakes that could cost you dearly,” says Robert Pagliarini, president of Pacifica Wealth and author of Sudden Wealth Solution: 12 Principles to Transform Sudden Wealth Into Lasting Wealth.
A good financial advisor can also help you decide whether to receive the prize in a lump sum or in an annuity, which will give you payments over time. The decision is not an easy one: Many lottery winners choose the lump sum because it allows them to spend the cash right away, while those who opt for the annuity will have 30 years to save up for retirement.