When you win the lottery, there are 5 things you should do before anything else:
1. Double Check, Triple Check, Take a Break & Check Again.
The minute you realize you have all the numbers, you’re ecstatic. But make absolutely sure that what you’re celebrating is real. Check the numbers again. And again. Verify the numbers on the website, and check again that your ticket has the same numbers and the correct drawing date. Avoid embarrassment and disappointment by, before anything else, making sure you are truly the winner of the Jackpot.
2. Sign, Copy and Hide.
Anyone can claim the winning lottery ticket. What makes it officially yours is your signature on the back. Make sure to immediately sign it, and sign it clearly. It’s important to write your name in small letters, and leave room beside your signature. You may want to claim the ticket in the name of a trust, other entity, or partnership, so you will need to have space beside your name to add a title such as “partner,” “trustee,” or “member.”
After you’ve signed the ticket, make a photocopy of the front and back of it. Then immediately put the original ticket away: it’s now worth a literal fortune, and you have to keep it safe. If you don’t have a safe deposit box, find the safest place you know to hide the ticket, and don’t take it out until you take it to claim it.
3. Keep Quiet.
One of the biggest events of your life has just occurred: your financial situation has drastically changed in a matter of minutes. Of course, you’ll want to tell everyone you know that you’ve won, and you’re wealthy, and life will never be the same. But spreading the word at this point would be a huge mistake. The fewer the people that know you’ve won the lottery, the better—the better for you and for those you love.
Once the word is out, the media will follow you. Friends and family members will want to talk to you and often will want to see how they fit into your newfound wealth. Charities will contact you, and people you don’t even know will somehow claim to have a connection to you.
Keeping quiet doesn’t mean that you can’t tell your closest family and friends of your life-changing news. But tell only the people you can absolutely trust to keep your secret safe.
4. Assemble Your Team of Professionals.
Don’t make your plans alone. Call Manfred Sternberg at 713-622-4300 and let us use our experience and knowledge to help you have a wonderful experience as you celebrate your win and know that your future is secure.
Decisions made even before you claim your lottery ticket will drastically affect your money. If you take the correct steps, your family could save numerous millions of dollars. A skilled attorney will know ways to plan your estate that can avoid your having to pay millions of dollars in taxes and ways to create trusts to secure your privacy, as well as the privacy of your family.
While lottery winners do not have to have an attorney to claim their tickets, having an experienced attorney representing you will help you avoid mistakes you will later regret as they significantly affect your fortune. And having a legal team taking each step with you can help you walk through this extremely daunting process with excitement rather than fear and worry.
Once you hire an attorney, ask him or her to suggest financial planners and accountants work alongside you. Hundreds of millions of dollars require a strong team of professionals to ensure that your money is safe and your future secure.
5. Make Plans to Leave Town on the Day You Claim the Prize.
If you are a Jackpot winner in a state that requires your name be publicized, or if you choose to be known as a winner, or if your secret gets out unintentionally, the world will be waiting to meet its newest multimillionaire. Some people will simply be curious, while others will seek a cut of your fortune. Solicitors and the media will seek out your home, your workplace, and your friends and family. While this will not last long, you should leave town with your loved ones for a few days so that you can celebrate your life-changing event in private. Before you go, ask your attorney or spokesperson to handle any questions for you in your absence.
Help Available 24/7 for Your Lottery Winnings Questions
The Texas lottery winners of Manfred Sternberg & Associates are passionate about helping lottery winners secure their prize and their future financial security. Email us or call us today at 713-622-4300. We’re available 24 hours a day, and we will gladly meet you off-site, in the evening, and on the weekend. Hablamos español.