What Happens If You Win the Lottery?

Many dream of winning the lottery, but few ever will. Is it really a dream come true or the catalyst for disaster? Ok, so maybe ‘disaster’ is the wrong word, but you do have to be realistic about your winnings. This holds true even if you’ve really hit the big time, and you have millions upon millions coming your way.

Sadly, I’ve never won the lottery. You have to play to win, and I just don’t. I might purchase a scratch-off ticket on occasion, but I don’t play the numbers for the big payout. I have heard many stories of lottery winners who did play the numbers with success. Some have ended up broke, heartbroken, and even deeply in debt. How does this happen?

Too Much Money

You may scoff at the notion of having too much money, but it can be a problem. Many millionaires have that kind of money because they know how to handle money. Someone who lives paycheck to paycheck many not have any idea what dealing with large sums of money is all about. This can be big trouble.

If you’ve lived a long time wishing you had more, and you’ve skimped to get through life, a lottery windfall may send you on an unbelievably insane shopping spree. Your money maybe be gone quicker than you could ever imagine.

Not Enough Help

One piece of advice that is essential to keeping a handle on a huge windfall is to get a lawyer to handle things for you. What you may not realize is that when it comes to lottery winnings, there is a huge tax penalty involved. You can expect to pay almost a third of your winnings to Uncle Sam.

If you have a spouse, you may want to get something in writing about how the money will be split in the case you end up divorcing. This sounds a bit silly, because money will make you happier right? Maybe. Truthfully though, many lottery-winning couples have split after winning, which then leads to nasty divorce proceedings and long bitter battles over the money.


Many lottery winners simply plop their money in an account and plan to live free. What they should be doing is protecting their money. They should also use their lottery winnings to invest in their children’s futures.

You should definitely look into hiring an accountant to help keep track of your spending and savings, and hiring an investment company or consultant so you aren’t just spending your money; you are making money. If you don’t know what you are doing, go ahead and admit it, then ask for help from those who know.


When you win a lot of money, everyone around you will change. You may run into resentment and nastiness from formerly close friends, family members, and colleagues. This won’t always be the case, but you can bet it will happen with at least half of the people you know.

Your life has changed in a dramatic way, while they remain the same. Be prepared to be bombarded with loan requests, and you may have charities calling you day and night. You should really think about each request before committing. It’s wonderful to help friends and family and to give to charity, but remember you can’t say yes to everyone.

Wrap Up

Despite all the problems that can come with winning the lottery, it would still be a fantastic change in your life. Just keep in mind it may not be the fairytale its cracked up to be. Get legal help and take some time to be alone so you know what you want to do with your money, and how to protect yourself and your family. Get an unlisted number and a postal box right away, and talk to people who can guide you in the right direction.

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