If you happen to find yourself the lucky recipient of a winning lottery ticket, there are a few tips you’ll want to keep in mind before you head out to lottery headquarters to claim your prize.
Here are the top nine financial tips you’ll want to know if you ever find yourself winning big:
You’ll Want to Make Some Calls
If you find yourself with a winning lottery ticket in hand, your first calls should be to an attorney, a financial advisor, and an accountant. Depending on how much you’ve won, you might find yourself in over your head if you don’t have the right help available.
Mentally Prepare Yourself
Most people don’t consider how they might feel or how they’ll react if they actually do win a lottery. You’ll need to try mentally preparing yourself for your new life as a wealthy person, and how people’s opinions of you and how they treat you might change.
Take Your Time
You might want to run out the very next day to claim your winnings, but the truth is that most lottery tickets allow you up to six months to claim your prize.
While you don’t need to take the full six months–and make sure to double-check to ensure how much time you do have, you should absolutely give yourself time to think.
Don’t Tell Anyone That You Won
Although you might be tempted to run out and tell the world about what just happened… don’t. You should put the ticket in a safe location, such as a safe deposit box, as soon as possible.
You’ll want to protect you’ve won–people do crazy things when it comes to large sums of money.
Reconsider Taking the Lump Sum
Many people who win the lottery opt for the lump sum instead of monthly or annual options, but you might want to reconsider.
When you have a large amount of money at your disposal, it’s far easier to spend it than not, and you might quickly become one of those lottery winners who soon lose it all.
Use Caution When Helping Others
You might be tempted to give away money in an attempt to help your family and friends, but use extreme caution when doing so. Money can change people, and you might even find people asking for money when they don’t really need it.
Keep Things as Normal as Possible
While your life could change dramatically if you wanted it to, you might want to consider keeping your day job and keeping things as normal as you possibly can.
Keeping quiet about how much you’ve won and staying consistent can go a long way in helping to maintain healthy family and friend dynamics.
The last thing you’ll want to do is put up “house for sale” signs and move into a mansion. Trust us on that.