Steps to Take Before Claiming Your Lottery Winnings

There are hundreds of thousands of people out there who play the lottery. Some do it for the sole purpose of winning whereas there are a lot more who don’t have any expectation of winning and only play it for the fun of it. Yes, we do dream about winning the lottery and like to imagine what it would be like. You think of the stuff you would buy, the vacations you would take and the wishes you would fulfill. But, in the midst of these fantasies, no one is prepared to handle what comes after you actually do win the lottery. As a matter of fact, if you are not careful, there is a good chance that your lucky day can end up being an unlucky one.

The key to make the most of your good fortune is to lay a strong foundation. Before you rush out to get your hands on your lottery winnings, these are the steps you should take:

Keep your ticket safe

First things first, you need to keep your lottery ticket safe. Store the digital copies and get paper copies made as well. Get the ticket stored in a safe deposit box at the bank. When you have stored your ticket in the best possible way, now you can start thinking about contacting the lottery authorities. Take your time in doing so because you want the media hoopla to die down a bit. Use this time to take a breather and plan for the future. Lotteries usually give winners 180 to 365 days for claiming your prize so you can take a week before cashing in.

Don’t give up your job yet

This is something you have always dreamed about; quitting your job and just going on a long vacation where you can travel the world and see your favorite places. Again, there is no need to make this decision too quickly. First, you should ensure that you haven’t misread the winning numbers or the date on your winning ticket. Make sure everything is order. Next, there is also some financial planning required. At this time, you should keep your good fortune to yourself, even at work. Otherwise, your boss may let go of you before you are ready.

Get in touch with professionals

If you are not a licensed accountant, family planning attorney or a tax attorney, you are going to need professional assistance when you win the big jackpot. Look for an experienced attorney who has had experience in dealing with financial issues and also hire a CPA and financial advisor. You are going to need their combined expertise to make decisions about your future. You can also get a second opinion if you are not comfortable with the advice you receive.

Become anonymous

Some areas do offer lottery winners the chance to stay anonymous, but in case you don’t have that option, it is time for you change your address and get unlisted. Otherwise, there will be a horde of people knocking at your door looking for money.