3 of the Dumbest Mistakes People Have Made After Winning the Lottery


After you win the lottery, there are some smart things you can do. You can choose to receive your lottery payments in the form of a lottery lump sum payout, and promptly invest it in blue chip stock, or put it into an account to accrue interest. Since the lottery withholds 25% for federal tax off the top, and another 6 to 9% for state taxes, such a move can help you get the rest of your winnings back.

You could also choose to receive a lottery annuity settlement, and enjoy the financial stability a new source of income provides for years upon years. The Mega Millions annuity and the Powerball annuity, for example, offer 30 annual payments, which increase in size over time.

At the same time, there are also some very, very dumb things you can do after you win the lottery. Just take a look at what some “winners” did with their winnings.

Literally Losing It
Ian Galtress, a British engineer, bought two lottery tickets, one for himself, and one for his girlfriend. His ticket was only one digit off from hers, and wound up winning. However, since the tickets’ numbers were so similar, Galtress mistook the winner for the loser, and threw it away.

Just like Galtress, a young couple in England lost the winning lottery ticket they’d won on their birthday. Luckily, Mr. Tott remembered where he’d purchased it, and an investigation was launched to verify his claim. On the bright side, his claim was recognized as genuine. On the downside, the investigation took seven weeks, which ran out the 30-day time limit.

Being Too Greedy
Americo Lopes won the lottery back in 2010, and quit his job on the pretext that he needed foot surgery. At first, it seemed like a feasible excuse, but then some months later, his co-workers figured things out. Lopes hadn’t told them he’d won the lottery and lied about why he was leaving, because the ticket wasn’t entirely his. It was all of theirs, since it was bought in their work lottery pool. They filed a lawsuit, and won collecting the winnings owed to them.

If you know of any other dumb decisions that can be made after winning the lottery, feel free to share.

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