Monday, 2 April 2012

What to do if you win the lottery

Someone’s got to win the lottery, so why not you? You never know when or how you might find out if you’ve won. You could be watching the draw live at home on your own, or get the results online at FreeNationalLotteryTickets. With both those examples you would be in control of who knew about your win. But, if you handed your ticket to a lottery retailer and ask them to check it for you, that control would have gone. Obviously the retailer would blurt out the fact that you had won letting everyone else within earshot hear. In that scenario, your chance of choosing ‘no publicity’ has already gone.

It’s a good idea to be prepared for winning. Having a plan for how you are going to act in the first few hours after discovering that you had won, will go a long way to helping you retain control of your own destiny. Here is our top 5 tips for how to react to a lottery win.

1. Keep Calm
Winning a lottery jackpot is a life changing event, which is why we all play. It is totally natural to want to ‘tell the world’ about your news if you were to win, but if you were to do so immediately upon finding out you’d won, you may well regret it. Our advice would be to keep calm and tell only your closest and dearest at first. This doesn’t mean that you won’t tell everyone else at a later date or that you won’t go public. What it does, is give you time to consider all the options and make the decision with a clear head once all the euphoria of winning has waned somewhat. Just remember that if you decide on no publicity, you can change your mind at any time in the future and tell whoever you want about your win. But if you decide on publicity, once the story has got out, you can never change your mind.

2. Claim Right Away

Often, winners decide to hold on to their winning ticket for a few days or even weeks before making their claim. They do this to give themselves a chance to let the reality of this life changing event sink in. Our tip would be to make the claim and get your win validated by Camelot as soon as you possibly can. The early you do this the less chance there is that you could mislay your ticket. It’s worth remembering that if you purchased your ticket over the counter at a lottery retailer and lost it, whoever finds the ticket could make the claim and collect the winnings. Read our tips on Unclaimed Lottery Prizes

3. Going Public

Before deciding on whether you should opt for publicity or not, you need to understand the repercussions of such a decision. The press will want to know as much about you and your past as possible, and it wouldn’t be hard for them to find someone out there from your past who will bad mouth you over something or other. Be prepared for sack fulls of begging letter where it is impossible to distinguish the genuine from the fake. Be aware that from that moment onwards, you will always be known as the one or the couple that won the lottery.

4. Get Professional Advice

All lottery winners are offered initial financial advice and support by The National Lottery operators Camelot, but you will require ongoing investment a tax advice in the years to come. Managing a large pot of money in order to gain maximum returns requires an expert. As well as investment advice, you will also need advice on pensions, inheritance, tax and drawing up a new will. Of course you are not obliged to take this advice, but you should know that there are many stories of past lottery winners who didn’t take any advice and soon ended up wasting their winnings away until they had gone completely.

5. Don’t Let It Ruin Your Life

Whilst winning a lottery jackpot is life changing, it doesn’t necessarily have to change everything. You should aim to keep what’s good in your life like friends, interests and hobbies. It’s likely that you will want to give up work, but take time to plan hat you will do with your time if you did. You don’t want to end up rattling around a big house bored and unhappy. Like anything else in this life, you have to work at something to get the best out of it. Think about something you always dreamed of doing and make it a reality. Learn to fly, or play an instrument or learn a new language. Whatever you do, enjoy life remembering that no matter how much money you have, you only get out of life what you put into it.

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