Almost everyone who plays the lottery has dreamed about what they would do if they won big. Many dream of buying a luxury home world, going on a trip around the globe or closing all their debts. But winning a lottery prize is not without its troubles, and many winners find themselves struggling to keep their heads above water.
Lottery winners can be targeted by scammers and even face death threats. Urooj Khan, a Chicago man who won the Powerball lottery in 2012, dropped dead two months later from cyanide poisoning. He had purchased the ticket from a gas station on his way to work and was not carrying his ticket at the time of his death.
Aside from these dangers, there are also the responsibilities that come with being a lottery winner. It is important to consult with financial professionals to make sure you handle your newfound wealth responsibly. You should also protect your privacy by changing your name, avoiding interviews and establishing a P.O. box to avoid being inundated with requests from friends, family and strangers. You can also consider forming a blind trust through your attorney to remain anonymous.
Whether you choose to take the lump sum or monthly payments, you should invest your winnings in short term U.S. Treasuries until you are ready to make more speculative investments. In addition, you should stay healthy by eating right and exercising. Finally, it is important to have a support system in place that can help you manage your stress. This can include close friends and family members as well as professional counseling if necessary.