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Imagine the day where it happens to you. You win the lottery. All at once, your life will change in a whirlwind of ways as you have more money than you could have ever imagined. While this can be a fantastic win, it can all be for nothing if you do the wrong things. Even people who win millions aren’t immune to financial problems. Here’s what not to do if you win the lottery.
1 Don’t Tell Everyone About It
Winning the lottery is exciting. No, it’s more than that. It’s one of the greatest things that could happen to anyone. Overnight you can go from having to think about every dollar you spend to having plenty of money to save and invest. But this great fortune can bring a lot of negative things along with it. Being a lottery winner means people will find out who you are and what you’re now incredibly wealthy. Remaining as anonymous as possible for as long as possible will give you a chance to keep some relative normalcy in your life.
2 Don’t Think You Have Money to Last Forever
Even if you have $100 million, that doesn’t mean you’re going to be rich forever. Lottery money can disappear almost as quickly as it showed up. While there’s nothing wrong with getting some nice things now that you can afford it, you shouldn’t start spending money left and right. Plenty of lottery winners have ended up completely broke because of this. Trying to keep your lifestyle fairly consistent with how it was before — with less debt and more savings, of course — is much better than going over the top with splurges.
3 Don’t Buy Things Just Because You Can
Maybe you love cars and want to get your favorite sports car finally. Winning the lottery will allow you to do that. But do you need to buy three Lamborghinis if you’re just a Sunday driver? All kinds of people get into trouble because they choose to buy things simply because they can. Winning the lottery might make you think that you should have all the same things as the movie stars. But it’s important to remember the things you value and not chase purchases because you’re suddenly rich.
4 Don’t Wait to Pay off Your Debt (Or Acquire New Debt)
For many people, debt is the last thing they think about after getting a windfall of money. After all, with so much cash, what’s a debt to you anyway? Well, lottery money might not last you forever. And your overall financial health still matters. Paying off your debt should be one of the first things you do if you win the lottery. Any lottery winners who find themselves in a position where they need to take on more debt to keep up with their lifestyle are playing a dangerous game. Debt relief might be a positive thing in the future. Although that sounds ridiculous to someone who has just won millions of dollars, debt can sneak its way back into your life at any time. As many Freedom Debt Relief reviews show, people often have to seek debt settlement because they lost their income or experienced a medical crisis. These types of misfortune can happen to anyone, lottery winner or not.
5 Don’t Make or Lose Friends Because of Money
Perhaps a lot of people are going to know you after you win the lottery. While some of these individuals might have genuine intentions, many of them won’t. Don’t let your newfound money be something that determines your friendships. Keep the people who have always been there close and be wary of anyone who shows a suspicious amount of interest in you after winning the lottery.
6 Don’t Skip Getting Financial Advice
Your life will completely change after winning the lottery. The money problems you’ll have will be completely different than anything you’ve ever experienced before. You must consult with someone who has expertise in helping lottery winners, or millionaires in general, take care of their money. Failing to do this might lead to you incorrectly reporting your taxes, or putting money in places that aren’t optimal or even safe. Once you have that lottery money, you need to ensure you protect it with proper financial planning.
Winning the lottery can change your life for the better in unimaginable ways. But it can also ruin you if you’re not prepared for it. Avoiding these significant mistakes will help you be successful as a lottery winner.