So You Won A Bajillion Dollars In The Lottery — Now What?

Sure, only like, one in a zillion of you might need this information — but what exactly do you do when you win the mega jackpot lottery? Before you run off with your millions of dollars to fill a pool with gold coins so as to swim through it, Scrooge McDuck style, there are some very important things to consider. Why not prepare yourself for your future filthy rich state?

The ever-practical New York Times has got your back, should you ever score that magical, winning ticket. You’ve got to not only protect your money, but your identity and physical person when you’re the newest rich kid on the block.

First of all — what do you do with the ticket? Sign the back, says the NYT, so no one else can claim it if you drop it. Immediately photocopy it and lock it in a safe, or somewhere you know it’s protected.

Then it’s time for a chill pill. Don’t open the floodgates by calling every single person you know, including that boy you loved from first to eighth grade, to let them know your’e the richest person they know. You’ve been a normal person your entire life, pause a few days before you become Lady/Lord Moneybags.

The first person you should tell is a lawyer or financial planner, someone you trust that can help you along the path to riches. And before you go Tweeting about your good luck (#IWinAtLife) and calling the local news station, think twice — it might be better to stay anonymous so as to protect yourself from being bugged by people who just want you for your money. It can be easy to start giving away money to people claiming they need your help.

In some states you can form a trust to manage the money, but some will let your name appear in public records. In other states, you’re actually required to show up and receive that oversized check in front of everyone.

So the big question — is it okay to go on a tiny spending spree? Just the littlest one? Yes — experts say to get it out of your system, but not go totally bonkers at the go-kart store. Everyone will notice if you install a racing track in your backyard and spend your days zooming around in your mink bathrobe, guzzling Dom Perignon.

For more tips and advice regarding taxes, lump sums and more lottery wisdom, check out the source link below. And buy me a pony if you win.

*Thanks for the tip, Howard!

What to Do After You Hit the Mega Millions Jackpot [New York Times]