When You Win Big On a Scratch-Off Lottery Ticket
More often than not, most think the big payouts are in picking Lotto numbers. Meanwhile, a cursory glance at the Texas Lottery’s site says otherwise. Assuredly, you can win some mighty big bucks in scraping away at some scratch-off tickets. (If you don’t enjoy scratching off the hidden numbers, you can also just put them in a machine to see if they’re winners.)
Think we’re kidding? Only a few hours from Houston, an Arlington man won 5 million dollars when he hit the requisite matches on the Texas Lottery Platinum scratch-off ticket. No doubt, his family was in for some rather generous holiday presents.
Nevertheless, there are some rather important considerations when you hit big on a scratch-off ticket. By no means is it the same as winning a couple of hundred dollars that you might decide to reinvest. Once it’s revealed that you’re due a significant amount of money, you should absolutely seek professional advice. That starts with both experienced legal counsel, as well as an accountant. In fact, you might also want to look into the services of a certified investment advisor.
Lottery Tickets: Why You Need an Attorney
There’s more than a few reasons that you might need a lawyer when you experience any kind of windfall from lottery winnings. Take the case of the Arlington man. For whatever reason, he didn’t seem to care that his name was released to the general public. After all, the fine print on his scratch-off ticket said the Lottery Commission could include him in their public relations campaign.
Be that as it may, there are ways around revealing your identity when it comes to claiming a lottery prize. You might not want everyone to know that you’re suddenly the recipient of megabucks. For one, you may suddenly discover long lost relatives on your doorstep. Meanwhile, you can be sure you’ll be contacted by scads of companies offering you “investment opportunities.”
In the first place, there are ways around keeping your identity secret. Your attorney can help you decide if forming a business entity or trust makes the most sense. In that case, it will be your lawyer that appears before the Lottery Commission to claim your prize.
The advantage of a trust? Without question, striking it rich is a dream come true. However, it’s entirely too easy to spend down even large winnings. There are many tales of woe where sudden millionaires find themselves down to near poverty assets.
Setting up a trust doesn’t just protect your identity from exposure. For one, there may be tax advantages to establishing a trust. In the case of a bypass trust, your spouse will automatically be named as the beneficiary in the event of your death. Additionally, the trust will not have to go through probate once you pass away. There is an assortment of reasons that setting up a trust for lottery winnings makes sense.
Did You Win Big in the Lottery?
Congratulations! If you are lucky enough to win a mega lottery prize, Manfred Sternberg and Associates would like to offer you legal advice. Before you head over to claim your winnings, we invite you to speak with us. Learn how we can help you during this new phase of your life. Send us an email or call us to schedule an appointment.