You Just Won the Lottery! Here's What NOT to Do


You did it! You just won the lottery! Call your parents; let go of your friend’s arm because they’re losing circulation; and try to calm down.

Congratulations on the bazillion dollars you just won. That money is truly going to change your life. Now, you may be asking yourself what to do when you win the lottery… Well, that’s up to you to figure out. However, here is what NOTto do when you win the lottery.

  1. Let Your Brother Turn on You — A common mistake with lotto winners. In 1988, a Pennsylvania man won more than $16 million and after only one year, he was over $1 million in debt. He blew through his money, was sued by his then girlfriend, and his own brother hired a professional hit man to take him out so that he could inherit some of the cash.
  2. Lose the Ticket — One of the first things you should NOT do after winning the lottery is lose the ticket. The Totts, winners of a $5 million jackpot, didn’t follow this advice. There is a 30-day time limit allowed for lost tickets, but that wasn’t long enough for Martyn and Kay Tott to find the winning ticket. “It was the cruelest torture imaginable,” Kay Tott told the Daily Mail. It was the largest unclaimed amount of money since the beginning of the lottery.
  3. Let it Ride — After you win $5.4 million, your initial instinct is probably to blow it all at the casino, right? Try your best to not do that. Evelyn Adams had a different approach in the 1980s when she won the lottery twice. She blew through over $5 million bucks in Atlantic City. She might’ve been more responsible if she won the lottery a third time.

Lottery payments like an “immediate” annuity allow you to begin receiving payments within the first 30 days after winning. The Powerball lottery annuity payout is 30 annual payments that gradually increase over the years and the Mega Millions payout increases by 5% after every payment. There are a few lottery payout options you could choose from, and selling your annuity payments might be exactly what you want.

It’s tough to be responsible after you just won millions of dollars, but try your best. Just remember the three DO NOTS of winning the lottery: DO NOT let your brother hire a hitman; DO NOT lose the ticket; and DO NOT let it ride… unless you’re feeling lucky.

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