If you’re reading this, hopefully it’s because you’ve just won a massive amount of money in the lottery, and you’ve decided to get some advice.
The first thing—obviously—is to cash in the ticket. That might seem simple enough, but don’t fall into the trap of procrastinating. Every minute you haven’t cashed in is one extra minute of liability that you should not be risking. Preferably, this means not telling strangers you’ve just won the lottery.
Also, the instant you’ve realized you’re a winner, it probably wouldn’t hurt to take a photograph as evidence—just in case you get mugged between finding out you’re a winner to the moment you cash in your ticket.
Okay, so now you’ve cashed in the ticket… what’s next? Assuming your state of residence allows it, stay anonymous. It might seem like fun to soak up the media’s attention and get on TV. Plus, now your ex knows that you’re filthy rich! But wait, what about your friends and extended family? Now that the word is out that you’re filthy rich, people are going to treat you differently, and it won’t always be for the best.
The secret really comes down to not living too extravagantly, if you can help it.
The reasons are twofold: you don’t want people thinking you are up to no good, or to know that you have suddenly become rich, as this may backfire in the long run.
Secondly, you want your money to last. Even tens or hundreds of millions of dollars won’t last forever if you mismanage your money. Paying off all of your debts and seeking professional financial and legal advice is a great first step, and the small investment will very quickly pay for itself.