The Powerball jackpot reached record-breaking amounts in January of 2016. The prize of $1586.4 billion had three winning tickets, which made John and Lisa Robinson, Maureen Smith and Mae and Marvin Acosta the biggest Powerball winners. Not only that, this win also made the three winners of the biggest lottery jackpot ever given in the world. Wouldn’t you want to take home the big prize too? Participating in the lottery has become easier than ever with websites like Play Mega Millions Online that enable you to play from the comfort of your home and have a shot at the big prize.
However, there are also incidents where lottery winners made mistakes and were not able to have their happy ending. Therefore, you have to be very smart when playing the lottery. It doesn’t matter if you are participating in the traditional lottery or opting to play lottery games online at Play Mega Millions Online you have to be smart in either case. Listed below are seven smart lessons that you can learn the three Powerball winners and get an idea on how to handle this life-changing experience in a good way so you will be prepared if a windfall comes your way:
Lesson 1: Take your time when claiming the prize
When you have a multi-million dollar ticket, all you want to do is just claim it instantly. You don’t want to risk losing the ticket or missing the deadline. Playing online eliminates the threat of having it stolen as you have a digital transcript to show you own the ticket, but people still get worried. However, jumping the gun is not a good idea. You have some decisions to make and things to get in order before claiming your money. Check the rules and see how long you have to make the claim as deadlines are usually provided.
Mae and Marvin Acosta waited for six months while Maureen Smith waited for a month. They used this time to assemble advisers for helping them in figuring out how to deal with the money. Also, check whether your state allows you to stay anonymous after claiming the prize as lottery winners can become vulnerable. Ohio, North Dakota, Kansas, Delaware and some other states do offer this option.
Lesson 2: Look for good financial and legal representation
Getting solid financial and legal advice should be your priority once you have figured out your deadline for claiming the prize. Each of the winners in the January 2016 Powerball were smart in this regard and didn’t move forward until they had proper legal representation. In case of a multi-million prize, it is best to have a team of experts and professionals to aid you in protecting yourself and maximizing your earnings. You will need an accountant, lawyer as well as an investment advisor who are familiar with handling such windfalls.
Do your research to ensure you are choosing the right team as they can make your life easier or harder. They can also assist you in protecting yourself from debtors and frivolous lawsuits. You can use their expertise to know where to invest your money, setting up charitable donations and how to handle requests for money from both disreputable and reputable sources.
Lesson 3: Annuity or lump sum
There is a tough choice that Powerball winners have to face; either take a smaller amount of money if they want a lump sum or get the whole amount of the jackpot spread over 30 years. As far as the $1.5 billion of the jackpot in 2016 is concerned, the three winners selected an amount between $310 and $533 million lump sum. There are both benefits and disadvantages associated with each option. Lump sum requires you to make a huge tax payment whereas with the annuity, you have to pay tax on the amount received every year.
Getting income every year prevents you from blowing through your entire winnings, but a lump sum can come in handy for making investments that can earn you high dividends. The decision can vary as per everyone’s personal situation.
Lesson 4: Protect your privacy
While you are thinking about your options, keep your lottery win under wraps. Yes, it might be tempting to tell everyone that you are a multi-millionaire, it can also make you a target. Only reveal the secret to your trusted friends and family and advisers. For instance, Maureen Smith and her husband continued going to work after winning and didn’t even tell their adult children they had won the lottery. You should also think ahead and decide what kind of image you want to project because reporters and other people will soon begin to look into your life. It is best to scrub your social media accounts or remove them altogether.
Decide how you want to be contacted, whether directly or through your law firm. You also need to be careful of what you say because people will talk about you publicly and everything you say will be scrutinized. The goal is protect yourself and your family from any unwanted attention.
Lesson 5: Don’t make huge changes in your life
When you are playing lottery games at Play Mega Millions Online, you sometimes imagine what you would do if you were to win the lottery. Some people think about quitting their jobs while others dream about buying a luxurious house. Yes, winning a few hundred million dollars makes you feel like you can do anything, but lots of lottery winners have thought this way and ended up losing everything. Therefore, it is best if you don’t make a change instantly. You need structure in your life if you want the funds to last. John and Lisa Robinson chose to continue working because they didn’t want to sit and lay down doing nothing.
If you ever win the lottery when playing, you should follow the tips outlined above to ensure that you don’t turn into a horror story of lottery winners and are able to maintain and increase your wealth over time.