While winning a million dollars or more in a lottery can be enticing for a lot of people, not many consider how life after winning it can be. From security to financial challenges and attracting paparazzi to paying several taxes, too many things come in the way after winning a lottery.
It is reported that an average American spends about $207 on lottery tickets every year. With the East Coast states hosting some mega lottery events like Mega Millions and Power Balls, the annual sum spent on these tickets is much higher. Lottery winners tend to consider themselves much satisfied and contended – and rightly so because who would not like to have millions of bucks in their account one day when they wake up?
So, enough about the stats and numbers, what does it mean if you win a lottery? How does it feel like? How does it change your life? Let’s dig a bit deeper.
How Does Winning A Lottery Change Your Life?
Okay, not all the people have conjured up an image of themselves winning the lottery and celebrating it on the media with their families and loved ones. Most of the people buying lottery tickets think that their chances of winning are slim and do not even bother checking their emails regularly. Ruth Breen, a midwife and a mother, won a million pounds in 2014. Ruth told the reporters that she become so used to getting emails about not winning the prize money that she didn’t even bother opening her life-changing email right away.
No matter how much you anticipate it, you can never properly prepare for what you will have to go through after winning a lottery. First of all, there is all that paperwork and background check. From the moment you call to claim your prize, your home becomes a host to the officials, lawyers, financial advisors, and so on.
If you thought you would immediately be getting a million dollars in your bank account, then you are wrong. The officials ground you for providing every little detail regarding getting the ticket to claiming it to be yours. Of course, they have got to make sure that you are who you say you are, and the money goes to the winner. So NO, your life does not change instantly, and you cannot get on your newly-purchased chartered airplane to enjoy your life in the Bahamas.
Following are some things that can occur after winning a lottery:
It Might Be Riskier Than You Thought
Coming on the media and announcing to the whole lot of people that you now own a million dollars is one of the most critical steps after winning a lottery. From reporters hounding you for appearing in their stories to numerous family members or friends that suddenly want to talk to you again, winning a lottery has its downsides as well.
You have got to tackle media as well as threats from some people who might have eyes on your money. It is your right to remain secretive about your win and conceal your identity. This is an important decision and can be a precursor to various huge developments in your life later on.
Ruth, the 2014 lottery winner, stated that she opted for going public about her winning because she wanted to come clean with the facts. She wanted to put an end to the rumors about her winning a huge amount. That is her decision, but on the contrary, Jane Park, who was also a lottery winner, stated that she liked her life better when she was not a millionaire. According to her, she had to hire guards for her safety and was not comfortable with haters all around.
Your Lifestyle Changes
Nobody can remain the same after having a couple more digits added to their bank accounts overnight. Money management is one of the greatest challenges that any lottery winner faces – be it Mega Millions of Power Ball. There is no predicting the future with absolute certainty, but finance specialists and analysis of previous lottery winners’ lives can tell you a lot about how you can use the money intelligently to last a lifetime.
Research suggests that the winners who decide to receive the prize money in lump sum appeared to be more committed to saving and investing. On the other hand, the winners who decide to receive installments spend somewhat unwisely and eventually are unable to double the amount to make it last longer.
Nevertheless, even if you choose not to spend it insanely on things like a yacht or a mansion or some chartered airplane, there still are some minor life changes that come your way. For instance, you might decide that you can finally afford those gorgeous pair of Jimmy Choo and you do not need to sell your kidney for it.
Also, lottery winners report hosting big parties and being invited to numerous events because of their lifestyle changes. You might want to buy yourself the membership of an elite club that you have always wanted. This is a serious life change you can expect after winning a lottery. Also, if lottery winners have children, there is a massive impact on the kids’ lives too. Parents might decide to change their children’s school and opt for a private school instead.
Finally, you might become more brand-oriented. It is simple psychology – your mind is at ease regarding your financial status, and it awakens your love for the brands you might not have been able to afford before. So, you pop up into the big store and treat yourself with the fanciest dress you only longed for.
Crucial Financial Decisions
Whether your whole life changes after winning a million-dollar lottery or not hugely depends on how you choose to spend and invest your money. According to experts and lottery winners who are still enjoying their wealth, such as Duke from Idaho, the key is to stay low and continue with your life as much as you can while investing your money somewhere profitable and safe.
Duke won the Powerball for about $220 million in 2005. According to him, had he been haste with spending the money on luxurious things like a mansion, a Ferrari, or a yacht, his money would not have lasted him for long. Instead, he continued living as he used to and was committed to the plan he had in mind.
However, not all plans and investments last long. Cynthia Stafford won a $112 million in the Mega Million California in 2008. According to her, she invested wisely and ran her own production company – which was her dream since she got news about her winning. Unfortunately, in 2016, Stafford filed bankruptcy as her production company got way out of hand.
Winning a lottery is a lot to take in as it brings a hoard of changes in your life that you had not imagined previously. Also, mental strength and acceptance are required to digest the fact that your life has completely changed. You might lose all in lavish spending, or you might make a gravely bad decision about investing the prize money. It is all about how well-prepared you are.