Here’s What To Do If You Win $500 Million Lottery
There’s about $500 million up for grabs in the latest lottery jackpot.
Are you the next winner of the $303 million Mega Millions and the $193 million Powerball?
If so, here’s what you need to know and what do next.
5 Things To Do If You Win The Lottery
1. Stay anonymous
If you win the lottery, your best bet – if available in your state – is to remain anonymous.
The rules regarding anonymity vary by state, with some states requiring all lottery winners to disclose their identity.
Remaining anonymous when you win the lottery can only be done in six U.S. states: Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina.
The remaining states where Powerball is sold, including Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands require that winners publicly disclose their identity, including their name, city and prize amount.
Despite such limitations, some winners have accepted lottery prizes through legal structures such as a blind trust that can protect their identity.
2. Sign the winning lottery ticket
Make sure to sign the winning lottery ticket.
A lottery ticket is considered a bearer instrument, which means that whoever signs the ticket can claim the lottery winnings.
Therefore, if you lose an unsigned winning ticket, the person who finds it legally can claim the prize.
3. Choose an upfront, lump-sum cash payment or the annuity payments
When you win the lottery, you have an important choice regarding your lottery winnings.
You can receive a one-time, lump-sum cash payment now, or you can receive annuity payments over the next 30 years. The upfront cash payment would be approximately $176 million for Mega Millions and $112.9 million for Powerball.
Which payout option should you choose?
Consider the time value of money — that is, how much you can earn under each scenario comparing the timing of the payments that you receive.
A dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow. With a lump-sum payment, you can invest the proceeds now and earn a financial return. The annuity option spreads your winnings over 30 years, which can help limit any potential reckless spending.
Overall, you should compare the after-tax proceeds and your intended investment return of each option.
4. Assemble a stellar team of financial, legal and tax advisors
Your financial life is about to get more complex.
You need to build a team of professionals that includes, at a minimum, a financial, legal and tax advisor.
Ensure that all your advisors work together to manage your investments, tax planning, insurance and estate planning, among other important aspects of managing your wealth.
Always remember to sign your own checks.
5. Pay off your existing debt
Simplify your financial life.
Could you keep the debt outstanding and earn a higher financial return by investing your proceeds in the stock market? Perhaps.
However, extinguishing your financial obligations will make your financial life easier.
And when you win the lottery, it’s all about living the easy life.
Here’s what to do next if you win $500 million.
How to Honestly Win a Car Online
There are numerous sweepstakes and drawings online that claim a winner will get a free car or other sort of huge prize. However, with many “free” sweepstakes, it is beneficial to watch and see just what you’re actually getting into. There are sites on the Internet on which you’ll be able to win cars and other prizes, but you usually can’t get something for nothing. You’ll always have to do something, no matter how minor, to win a prize as large as a car.
Create an email account. Most of the time when you enter contests to win a car or any other prize, you are consenting to allow spam email and advertisements into your inbox. If you set up a dummy email account to catch all that spam, it won’t affect your normal, day-to-day activities.
Go to survey websites. Websites such as surveyspot.com will often have drawings that take place for cars, money, and other sorts of prizes. You have to fill out surveys, and for each survey you fill out you get an entry into the contest.
Go to auction websites. This might not technically be “winning” a car, but you can often bid on cars at much cheaper prices. This is a fairly safe way of getting a car at a lower price, and still feeling like you won, even though you paid for it.
Look for sweepstakes websites and contests on the Internet. Searching for phrases such as “win a car” will usually allow any search engine to find dozens of contests that you can enter with the hope of winning a vehicle.
- Be realistic. There are a lot of contests out there, and you might not win any of them. You might also find some that are just a smoke screen offering a prize that no one’s going to win. Don’t get your hopes too far up.
- Read the fine print when you enter. Many contest entry forms state you are giving the website permission to use your information for advertising purposes. There might also be a buried clause that says you agree to pay or purchase something to get your entry. Make sure you know what you’re signing before you enter any online contest.
Neal Litherland is an author, blogger and occasional ghostwriter. His experience includes comics, role playing games and a variety of other projects as well. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Indiana University, and resides in Northwest Indiana.
There are numerous sweepstakes and drawings online that claim a winner will get a free car or other sort of huge prize. However, with many "free" sweepstakes, it is beneficial to watch and see just what you’re actually getting into. There are sites on the Internet on which you’ll be able to win cars …