Oh So You’ve Won the Mark Six?
How To Not Completely Screw Up Your Lottery Win (And Your Life)
Absolutely nothing at all, for at least a week. Go about your life as if nothing has changed. Allow the shock to subside so you can begin thinking rationally. Avoid going anywhere near the inviting sum, and certainly don’t buy anything substantial with it.
Hire a lawyer. If you’ve never dealt with very large sums of ready money before, the likelihood is you have no idea what the tax implications are, or where trouble will arise. Neither do we, and even if we did, enumerating the legal ramifications wouldn’t make for a very punchy article.
Get a financial advisor. As per the above, you do not know what you’re doing. Sure, you may have squirreled away a shortlist of fantastic investment ideas at the back of your brain, but actually putting these plans into action could risk everything you’ve suddenly found yourself with.
Work out how much you want to give to family, friends and charities, and stick to it. If the feeling of fulfilment and the instant karma bonus aren’t enough for you, remember that gifts and donations can impart all sorts of tax benefits.
Tell anyone, least of all the media, and don’t even hint about it on social media. Okay, maybe you’ll need to inform your spouse, but certainly no one you don’t trust implicitly with your deepest secrets, because greedy people will begin circling like vultures—and you’re the downed gazelle.
Splurge. Sure, you can finally buy that diamondencrusted Harley Davidson you’ve always wanted, but that doesn’t mean you should do it. You owe it to yourself and those you care about to be (relatively) sensible, if only because the alternative seems to lead to a horrific doom-spiral (see p.10).
Quit your job—at least not immediately. No matter how inviting it sounds, completely ditching everything on a whim isn’t a recipe for holding it together.