Things to do when you win the lottery

The first precautionary step you have to take when you win is to sign at the back of the ticket. This is because whoever signs the ticket and presents the photo ID can claim the prize since lottery ticket is a bearer instrument. In this article, let us discuss in brief some of the things to do once you win the ticket.

If your state rules permit, remain anonymous:

Once people get to know that you are wealthy, they begin to badger you by requests for money. So it is better to remain anonymous. Check out your state rules and see whether you can remain anonymous and dodge them all. Also, to claim the prize, the prize winners have time between six months and one year depending on where they bought the ticket.

Before you cash a ticket, check a tax pro:

You can either take the prize money all at once or have it paid out over 26 years in an annuity form. You need to pay the tax on the full amount immediately with a lump sum payment, whereas you will be taxed as you receive the payments with an annuity. Those who have trouble controlling their spending may go with the option of receiving the payment as an annuity.  Weigh the pros and cons and you have 60 days form the time you claim your prize for this. You can ask your advisors to help you to decide which type of payment suits you the best.

Avoid sudden lifestyle changes:

Once you win the lottery avoid doing anything drastic for the first six months like buying a home, luxury car, quitting the job, etc. Instead, save the big purchases for later.

Pay off all your debts:

Paying off all your debts is the best investment. You cannot be sure that the money will grow or shrink when you invest some dollars, whereas when you paid down some dollars for debt, then you no longer owe those dollars.

Take steps to protect assets:

You need to guard against losing your assets to creditors if you have lot of money. Make use of asset protecting strategies and protect your valuable assets.

Select a team of financial and legal advisors:

Carefully handpick you won lawyer and investment advisor since it is very hard to know who is trying to help you and who is trying to use you in situations like this.