Wow! A billion dollar Powerball jackpot! Who can resist trying to win that? But please consider these tips that I gleaned from many news sources over the past couple of weeks because they could help you if you do win any lottery jackpot, even this huge Powerball one.
First of all, immediately after purchasing your tickets, turn them over and sign your whole name, first, middle and last name, on the backs of your tickets. In case you lose your tickets, or get robbed, signing your name will make it extremely difficult for anybody else to make a claim with your tickets. Make copies of all of your tickets as well and put them in a separate location. This will also help you if your tickets are stolen to prove that they were yours.
If you purchase multiple tickets as a part of a group, designate several group members as the “signees” on the tickets. The best thing would be to make out a written agreement beforehand that the undersigned are purchasing the tickets as a group with any payouts to be divided evenly among the group.
This agreement should also list what members are designated to be the signees on the tickets as well. Date this written agreement, have everyone sign the agreement and then make copies for everyone in the group. After the tickets are purchased, make copies of all of the tickets for every group member and then attach the ticket copies to each agreement copy.
Now if you should win this Powerball billion dollar jackpot, or any other sizable jackpot, these next tips are extremely important to consider.
If you do have a winning Powerball ticket, or can claim any large lottery prize, please put your ticket in a safety deposit box in a bank or credit union immediately before doing anything further.
Then please stifle the urge to shout it out to the world. Tell no one, NO ONE!! I know that the urge is strong to share your good fortune with your closest family members and friends but please tell NO ONE until that winning ticket is certified for you by your state lottery board and the money has been given to you. Only then can you safely tell people.
It is tragic but people have been robbed and even murdered for winning tickets. I know that some of you will scoff and believe that telling just the people closest to you will do no harm but please err on the side of caution and tell no one. People who are extremely tempted sometimes will do heinous things by the lure of that much money, no matter what. It is always best to not tempt people to do things they normally would not do.
Before you take your ticket to be certified as a winner by your state lottery board, please consider the following information. If your state allows lottery winners to remain anonymous, please choose that option. It will save you so much grief and headaches!
You will be surprised by the number of unscrupulous people and organizations who will contact you with their hands out if they know you have come into any kind of money. Trying to remain anonymous until you have made concrete plans on what to do with your winnings is a good thing. Your emotions will be on a high and you will be preyed upon by people who will tell you hard-luck stories so wait until the dust settles before deciding what to do with your money.
If your state does not offer the option to remain anonymous, please contact an attorney to set up an L.L.C. (limited liability corporation) or a non-profit organization with you as its sole member. Hire the attorney to act as your agent on behalf of your L.L.C. or non-profit organization and have her/him take your winning ticket to the state lottery board to be certified. This will help protect your privacy and may even help save you some tax money as well on your winnings.
After your ticket has been certified, please consider the option to take annual payments instead of the lump-sum amount. First of all, if you take the payments, you will keep much more of the jackpot winnings than if you choose to take the lump-sum amount. Annual payments may also help in lowering the amount of the federal and/or state taxes you will have to pay. Second of all, choosing the payments option will prevent you from going hog-wild with the money and it will help you plan and budget your windfall better.
There have been several studies of people who have won big lottery amounts and chose to have the money given to them in a lump-sum. Unfortunately, the majority of them were not wise and had spent their entire fortune and were broke within a decade. That is stupid!
Please seriously consider choosing to have annual payments of your lottery winnings just to help protect you. Don’t pretend that you will be wise and will always make good decisions because having that kind of large amount of money will make even the most prudent and cautious person feel invincible and that the money will last forever. It won’t unless you make wise decisions.
After you have hopefully taken the annual payments option, the next steps to take before you spend even one dime of those winnings will be to hire several financial advisers and an accountant. If you are like most people and live from paycheck to paycheck, knowing what to do with this large of a sum of money will be beyond your education and knowledge and experience.
Please do not pretend to know better than these advisers and accountants how to manage a large amount of money. Carefully consider that financial advisers and accountants are specifically trained and educated and experienced in how to handle large sums of money and in ways that you just don’t know about. Their advice will help guide you.
Winning a billion dollar jackpot or even a lesser amount, means that you need to invest that money in such a way so that you can live comfortably off the income of your income. The money should be used to make more money for you and your loved ones.
And that does not mean that you immediately invest in your friends’ and families’ get-rich-quick schemes or sure-fired-can’t-lose business adventures. Trust me, you will be inundated with those. Wait and think hard before giving any kind of money like that. Think about it: if their schemes were so good, then why aren’t they rolling in money that they had made from their ideas? That is why you need, absolutely need, to have professional financial advisers to guide you and protect you in what to invest.
The best advice is to divide your winnings between three certified financial advisers. That way, just in case something goes wrong with one adviser’s investment suggestions, the majority of your winnings will still be safe. An accountant who can oversee all of the transactions and will help you keep track of what money is going where will be a good thing too.
I’m not saying that helping out close family and friends or honest charitable organizations is not a good idea because it is. Within reason. This is your money, not theirs. Help them but don’t help them to live off of you.
Just be wary and cautious because you know that there will be some people who will try very, very hard to pry money out of you and some people will use any means they can to do that. And some of those people may turn out to be the ones you would never have believed could do something like that. Money changes people and lottery winners will attest to that.
If you want to donate to any organization(s), please do some research to make sure that the majority of the money that is donated to them is actually going to help their charity, not the ones running the charity. Some so-called charities are fraudulent so please be cautious.
Please also make out a detailed will or update your current will. Have your attorney help you with this so that your windfall can help the ones you love after your death. I know thinking about your death and making out a will is gruesome to some people but this is just a common-sense thing to do. We all will die at some point. That’s a fact that is stupid to ignore. Protect your loved ones with a will.
Don’t invest all of your money but do invest a large portion of it. Have fun with some of it, but just think long and hard about how to do that wisely. Think about the many, many years you and yours can have fun with the money and plan accordingly.
I hope these tips help you and I hope that if I don’t win that billion dollar jackpot, you do! Good luck!