Mega Millions is currently a very attractive lottery to play. At this moment, Mega Millions offers the biggest lottery jackpot in the world. Who wouldn’t want to play to win a $232 million prize? (Hint: Buy your Mega Millions tickets now for the next draw). Let’s say you win Mega Millions. Congratulations are in order, but what do you do next?
The minute you learn that you’re the lucky winner of the Mega Millions jackpot, you’ll feel like letting the world know this amazing news. You’ll want to tell your family and friends, to let them share your excitement. If you’re a generous person, you’ll probably share your wealth with them as well. But if you’re considering going public with the news right away, our advice to you is “Don’t!”
The next thing that has probably crossed your mind is how you’re going to spend your lottery windfall. Buy a new house? Sure. Buy a new car? Why stop at one? Travel around the world? Of course! Put aside money for your children’s education? That’s wise planning! But no matter how much you have won, and how eager you might be to make these wonderful purchases and investments right away, our advice to you is “Don’t!”
The best advice we can give you after you win the Mega Millions jackpot is “Don’t do anything!” Does that sound cruel? No! This advice is intended to help you protect both your winnings and your sanity. Maybe it would be clearer if we stated, “Don’t do anything right away.”
Let’s say you win Mega Millions – what do you do?
According to Colleen Supran, a financial adviser and principal for wealth management firm Bingham Osborn & Scarborough, if you win the lottery you would want “to let the emotional dust settle” and “give yourself some time to put a plan in place.”
Putting a plan into place should entail hiring the services of a small circle of professionals – a lawyer, an accountant, and a financial adviser. You don’t want to go wild and spend all your money at once. Your winnings are subject to high taxation rates, but your team of advisors can guide you through regulations and tax codes to make sure that you can both enjoy your prize money and guarantee your finances for the long run.
The first question you will need to answer is whether to take your Mega Millions jackpot as a lump sum cash payment or as an annuity for 26-years. There are tax implications involved and that’s why it’s best to make your decision based on professional advice.
You will also need to decide whether to remain anonymous, or to make your identity as a jackpot winner known. In some jurisdictions, you are required to go public but your advisors can help you set up a trust so that you can protect your privacy.
A few last words of advice: Change your phone number and avoid social media. Purchase your Mega Millions tickets now, in time for the next draw. Let’s say you win Mega Millions – you’re certainly entitled to a hearty “Congratulations!” But to that we add, “Be careful what you do with your winnings!”