If you’ve ever won a lottery, you know the thrill of collecting a windfall. But it’s also important to know that you should treat it with care. Besides, it can be dangerous to let your emotions run wild and spend your winnings on things you really don’t need.
If you win a large sum of money, it can be tempting to spend it on everything from luxury items to extravagant vacations. But before you splurge, consider the following tips:
Set aside at least a year’s salary to save for emergencies and retirement. It’s also a good idea to diversify your investments, so you don’t put all of your money into a single investment.
Keep your winnings private
Whether you win the jackpot or an individual prize, keep your name out of the spotlight as much as possible. Lotteries often require winners to give interviews and show up at press conferences, so you might want to avoid doing that altogether or form a blind trust through your lawyer to protect your identity.
Choose an annuity
Many states offer a lottery annuity option that pays the full amount of the jackpot over 30 years. The first payment is typically a lump sum, and the rest of the money will be paid to you in annual installments. This is a safer way to invest the money than trying to make it grow on your own.
You’ll need to make payments for the entire life of the annuity, but you can get a good idea of how long it will take to pay off your winnings by calculating the value of your annuity.