Imagine this: you’ve just found out you won the lottery. You receive the all-important phone call the next morning to confirm that you are indeed a multi-millionaire. You get off the phone and take a deep breath – now what? We’ve got you covered on what to do when you win the lotto.
At first, it all seems like a dream that’s too good to be true. You start thinking of all the amazing things you can do and buy with your winnings, and you want to scream from the rooftops. But this is when it might be better to stop and think. While it’s a perfectly normal reaction to want to celebrate such a life-changing event, many winners choose anonymity over 5 minutes of fame, to avoid unwanted attention from distant relatives, fake friends and scammers.
The great thing about playing lotto in Australia is that winners can choose to remain anonymous and keep their privacy, unlike in the United States where winners don’t have such a choice, and are often thrown into a media circus.
So should you win the lotto and want to remain anonymous, here are the steps to take:
It’s a life-changing moment, so try not to make any quick decisions in the days and weeks immediately after your win, like who you’re going to tell and who you’re going to help. Take your time to plan what you want to do with your money long-term, rather than making impulse decisions whilst you’re still processing your win. Think about how you want to spend and invest your money – do you want to invest it, buy property, pay off debts, gift it? Plan for the long-term to help you maximize your newly acquired wealth.
Try to keep the news within your inner circle, as those closest to you are the most unlikely to exploit your newfound fortune. Big news like this is easily leaked and can quickly spread. And while it may not necessarily be broadcast by the media, you could still end up being identified.
Both financially and legally, surrounding yourself with people who understand how to manage money and are able to advise you, will ensure you get the most out of your money. For most people, managing a fortune of this size is foreign, and while it’s exciting, it’s also complicated, and there will be issues that you’ve never had to deal with before. So to get off to the right start, ensure you appoint both a financial and legal adviser who you trust.
Have you thought about creating a trust as a way of collecting your winnings? A trust is an arrangement whereby a trustee holds assets on behalf of a beneficiary. Your legal or financial adviser will be able to advise you on whether a trust is suitable for your circumstances, and can assist you with setting one up.
Contrary to how you see celebrities flaunting their cash, real wealthy people don’t spend money. They invest it. You could choose to get started with short-term investment for your winnings. This could see you earn more money while you work with your financial adviser to plan your long-term investments.
To recap, if you win the lotto and would prefer to remain anonymous, there are a few things you need to do to ensure this: be patient – don’t rush into making decisions; trust a few – tell only close friends and family; seek advice – find expert financial and legal advisers you trust; create a Trust and get your lawyer to claim your winnings; and finally, invest your money to make it work for you.
For your chance to be Australia’s next millionaire, get your lottery tickets here!