We all dream of selecting the best lotteries to play and winning the big jackpot but what is life really like if you do win?
Here are some features to bear in mind for that day when you find the winning lottery number and claim your life-changing prize. The information has been compiled specifically with the British National lottery or European lottery in mind but the information holds generally true for most of the global lotteries.
1. Double-check the numbers first.
Check online with the official website of the lottery administrator (in the UK the site you want is www.national-lottery.co.uk). Also ensure the ticket you hold has the correct date on it: so many players think they have won when their ticket is for the previous week’s draw!
If you play lotteries online or are a member of a syndicate, you should check the appropriate website or the syndicate leader to make sure. Many websites will contact you to confirm the win in any case – but only if you have already paid to play.
2. Keep that ticket secure.
How would you feel if you had won a major prize but could not find the ticket? A lottery administrator will want to see it to confirm the win. You don’t necessarily need to lock it in the bank but you might consider finding a safe place such as a hidden strong box or even keep it close to you, perhaps in your purse or wallet. Some winners have kept their ticket in unusual places – such as in the freezer or in a Bible. The place is not important as long as it is safe and a place you can remember where it is!
Call the lottery administrator if a large win or, in the case of a smaller prize, return to the shop where you bought your ticket. Again, if you play lotteries online, you will have contacted the website or a syndicate leader, if appropriate.
Most lottery companies have an experienced team ready to help you from the first call, so you don’t need to feel apprehensive. Usually you will be asked to visit a lottery office to prove your identity and present the winning ticket. While you are there you will also meet experts who will advise you as to the next steps.
3. Go public or stay anonymous?
This is a key decision to make, and one the lottery advisers will be happy to discuss with you.
Colin and Chris Weir broke records with their £161 million win in the European lottery in July and held a press conference to announce their good fortune. However, a few weeks later they had to go into hiding to avoid the begging letters and telephone calls. Other winners have successfully stayed anonymous and you might consider doing so too.
In other countries some lottery winners have held press conferences but have worn masks and have kept their names secret.
4. Open a new bank account.
One of the advisors you will meet at the lottery office will be a representative from a bank. It is worth getting professional advice, as handling a large amount of money is a delicate task, if you are to make the most of the opportunity. Personally, I would consider hiring a reputable independent financial advisor: no doubt the lottery company would help you with that too.
Good professional advisors are a must, so ensure you choose well.
Bear in mind these days the money is transferred electronically to a bank account of your choice – the large cheque is purely for show.
5. Would you quit your job?
Of course, this depends on the amount of money you win and your attitude to your job.
Nicky Cusack won £2.49 million in the UK lottery draw in 2009 and yet has returned to her job stacking shelves at her local Asda store. She told reporters she missed her friends at work and that she really did enjoy her job.
A man only known as ‘Alexandre’ won the French loto draw, left his job and then promptly bought the transport company he had worked for to save it from bankruptcy.
6. Relax and take a holiday.
All lottery winners are advised to take a holiday after their win. The reason? It is often difficult to come to terms with your new-found wealth and it is invaluable to take your time making decisions rationally and calmly. A holiday will help you adjust.
Any winner who rushes headlong into decisions is more likely to make bad ones and not get the full benefit from their good fortune.
Bear in mind too that you may well get a ton of begging calls and letters so being away from home would be useful. Perhaps redirect your post and calls to someone employed to deal with them. Again, your lottery administrators will help with that: they usually have staff who will deal with the calls.
7. Have fun.
The last tip is simply to enjoy yourself. Okay, you can use the money responsibly and it would be a mistake to be silly with the money but why not treat yourself a little?
Again, it depends on how much money you win, but, if you can afford it, why not get that car you wanted or the new house? Then you can settle down and think how you can use your winnings in the best way.
With the help now available, it is easy to survive winning large lottery prizes. Recent winners have made good use of their new fortune and have achieved great things. Gone are the days when those who draw the winning lottery number have their lives ruined.
What would you do if you won? It’s great fun to imagine so have a bit of fun and dream a little. Then play lotteries online with a site such as theLotter.com and see if you can bring those dreams into reality.
I hope you can put these tips into practical use very soon.