KNOXVILLE (WATE) – So you’ve won the jackpot. Now what? Here are ten things you shouldn’t do.
1. Forget to sign the ticket
If you lose your lottery ticket and somebody else finds it, fights could arise on who owns the ticket. Make sure to sign the back of your ticket as soon as you buy it, so you can stake your claim.
2. Forget to report your win to the state.
This might seem like the most basic advice, but tens of millions of dollars go unclaimed yearly in the Tennessee Lottery.
Remember, some lottery tickets expire in 90 days to one year. Make sure to check the fine print.Related:Tens of millions of dollars go unclaimed yearly in Tenn. Lottery
3. Tell everyone you know
If you win millions, you may want to post to Facebook, Twitter or brag about your win.
Telling everyone before you collect your winnings, puts you in danger in more ways than just one. People may look for hand-outs or something worse.
4. Think you’re the smartest person to manage your money and finances
Going from living paycheck-to-paycheck to having millions, you may not have the best strategy to protect your assets when it comes time for taxes or ways to invest. Go see a reputable and visible tax professional and a reputable investment adviser at a top management fir with a widely recognized company name and long corporate history.
5. Give everything away
Donations are a great way to channel your winnings and do society good, but make sure you pursue worthwhile causes. You can easily become your friends and family’s personal welfare department.
It’s important to do some research into charities and what you can deduct from your taxes. The IRS’s website has an “exempt organizations select check” tool that you can use to verify if the charity is able to receive tax-deductible gifts.
6. Live big
There can be a huge temptation to buy all the millionaire toys. Some lottery winners buy dozens of cars, house and whatever else they can think of. Don’t be a cheapskate, but also don’t live beyond your means.
Many experts suggest that any winners wait at least six months — if not a year — before making any purchases. According to a 2015 study by the Camelot Group, 44 percent of winners spend their entire winnings within five years.
7. Think the laws no longer apply to you
Just because you can hire the best attorneys and legal defense doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay taxes or you can break the law.
8. Get scammed
“You’ve won the lottery!” It’s something that many people want to hear. But sometimes those words come from scammers who are trying to steal your money. Some of those scammers have falsely identified themselves.
Most often the scams involve retailers who are cashing in on winning tickets for a fee for people who don’t want to collect the jackpots personally because they owe back taxes, child support payments or other debts that states generally deduct from lottery winnings.
9. Invest in your family’s new business ventures
One common mistake lotteries winners make with instant sums of money is that friends and family start pitching them on endless business ideas.
While new business ideas work for some people, it a lot easier to lose your money. Leave the new business ventures up to the venture capitalists.
10. Lose perspective
You’ve won it big, but compared to other lottery winners you may feel like you’re poor. Remember it’s all about perspective.