You just won the lottery and I bet you’re very excited to claim your jackpot immediately. Hold on for a second and take a deep breath!, Before you proudly head out to acquire your fortune, there are things you need to do. Now that you’re a millionaire, you certainly have lots of financial decisions to make, lots of gifts to buy, (and lots of money to spend around!).
Hold up, hold up, you’re getting way ahead of yourself! You haven’t claimed your jackpot yet so not so fast! Winning the lottery is a big deal. It suddenly makes you rich, and that sudden change causes a lot of stress that requires you to make several immediate decisions. In order to feel calm and confident, you’ll need to focus on a couple of essentials prior to claiming the jackpot.
1. Keep It on the Low
Now you know that the Lady Luck has bestowed blessings on you and you finally won that jackpot you were eyeing for years. Now what? Hold your horses! Don’t go around screaming about how you won the lottery and how much cash you suddenly came in possession of. You might think otherwise, but not everyone will be happy for you. The next thing you know, some “well-intentioned” individual is depriving you of your money. There’s a sufficient number of examples that show us lottery winners can get robbed. In March 2014, a man was robbed at gunpoint by three individuals in Knoxville. There’s a simple reason why it happened. He bragged about how much he won from the lottery on Facebook! If you don’t want to be the next example in the series of crime statistics, you better keep it on the low.
2. Stick to the People You Know – the Time isn’t Right to Make New Friends
The moment you win the jackpot, everyone would start sticking to you like you’re some kind of a magnet. If someone tries to befriend you, keep your distance and ask yourself, “would this person have befriended me if I hadn’t won the lottery?” If you don’t know the answer to that question, take it for granted – it’s a NO. Here’s a simple illustration of the claim coming from a name with the poetic name of Abraham Shakespeare. Mr. Shakespeare won 30 million dollars from the lottery. After becoming rich, Abraham befriended Dorice ‘Dee Dee’ Moore, who lied that she wanted to write a book about him (the lamest excuse to make friends). Soon after, he was found dead, shot twice, by none other than his new friend. Even though she’s been found guilty of the charge, Dee Dee still denies it.
3. Plan Your Escape Smartly – and Don’t Drink for God’s Sake!
Before you claim your jackpot, be sure to know your exit strategy. You can’t be holding a check and roaming around in town looking for a cab to take you back home! That would be brutally stupid! Right after claiming the jackpot, most lottery winners go to a pub and invite a thousand others to celebrate. They drink and drink, cheering to the win, but as soon as they leave the bar, alcohol hits and boom – a car crash. Remember, if you win the lottery, collect it and go home. Period. Act like nothing grand happened unless you want to end up like Deborah McDonald – dead. She was oh so happy when she received the check for $5,520. She went and bought two wedding rings before throwing a small celebration in the pub. Deborah drank and cheered to the win. Unfortunately, she never got home because she was drunk and was hit by a car. Fate has an amazing way of making its point, don’t you think?
4. Sign The Ticket – You Will Regret the Decision Not to
Do you believe in the good nature of humankind? Good for you, but that’s a massive, massive mistake! Lesson one – people are evil and they get even more so when money is involved. The biggest mistake lottery winners commit is taking things for granted. They don’t sign the back of the lottery ticket, because they’re damn sure nothing bad will ever happen. The ticket’s not going anywhere, right? Dead wrong! Here’s the story of Hakeem Nosiru who taped his $50 million lottery ticket inside his wife’s purse. The couple went to church to thank the good Lord and came back home to find out that the unbelievable had happened in the holiest of places. The ticket was gone! On April 1, approximately four months after the incident, the ticket was returned to them by a fellow churchgoer. He had signed the ticket and had his address on it! Yep, that’s a smart guy.
5. Take Care of Yourself – Don’t Get Too Excited!
Relax, breathe in and breathe out. Remember to take care of your health because suddenly becoming a millionaire can cause anxiety, paranoia and sometimes even strange out-of-body experiences! I’m not exaggerating here. Some people have sleepless nights until they finally bring their money home. Sandra Vince, who won a million dollars on a scratch ‘n’ win lottery ticket is one of these people. She said she hadn’t slept since she scratched off that winning ticket. Every lottery winner handles the situation differently. While some stay awake holding their ticket for days, others stick their tickets in impossible places in order to catch a wink. There are others who just don’t stop thinking about the things they would do when they bring home their precious money. Sudden richness can make people do weird things! Even depression is likely if you’re not in a good condition and eager to accept the brand new life that awaits you. Go see your doctor right now, you can thank me later on!
6. Take Some Time before You Spend
Chances are that you’ve been doing hours of fantasizing about the things you’re going to do when you get your hands on that cash. Would you buy a yacht? A beautiful castle somewhere in the Alps? Would you get a breast augmentation? Hey, I’m not judging, just describing the possibilities. While all of these things may seem pretty exciting right now, you’ll probably come to a different mind when the initial excitement is over. So, take some time and think about what you truly want in life. Drugs and plastic surgeries usually don’t bring happiness. Just ask the youngest EuroMillions winner from Britain who now wants to sue the lottery. Jane Park was 17 at the time she won one million pounds. Young and naïve, she spent the money on Louis Vuitton handbags, cosmetic surgeries and a purple Range Rover among other things. Regardless of the fact she was appointed an advisor, Jane thinks that she was too young when she won. She has said multiple times that the money made her miserable and she wishes that she’d never won. If you don’t want to be like Jane, you should definitely consider the important things in life prior to splurging on a custom, pink, Swarovski-covered car. It’s probably not the wisest purchase to make!