Powerball winners need to know what not to do should they discover they’ve won.
There are a host of tips and nuggets of advice out there for what you should do if you discover you have a winning Powerball ticket. But alternatively, there are a few things you want to avoid doing as a Powerball winner. If you find yourself with matching numbers and a jackpot coming of any size, knowing what not to do can save you time, money, and your sanity. Here are six things you absolutely should not do as a brand-new Powerball winner.
It might seem like a Powerball no-brainer, but don’t lose the winning ticket. There are plenty of stories out there of potential winners who misplaced their ticket, ran it through the wash, or forgot to sign the back of it. Losing possession of the winning ticket means losing your shot at being a millionaire.
Discovering that you’ve won any size jackpot is exciting. It’s thrilling, and you may feel like shouting from the rooftops. But beware of your enthusiasm. Don’t tell anyone outside of your immediate household or a family confidante. And whatever you do, don’t put anything on social media about it. Letting too many people in on your windfall, especially before you’ve had a chance to collect your winnings, could put you in danger. Would-be thieves might set out to steal your ticket or, worse yet, cause you harm. And even after you’ve collected your funds, being public about your wealth can make you a target of scammers, thieves, and long-lost relatives who need cash.
Don’t rush to make quick decisions about taking a lump sum or timed payments. Don’t feel hurried to collect your big check. Don’t rush to book that European vacation. And just because there are a few extra zeros on your bank statement, don’t rush out and buy a Bugatti. Instead, take your time with each decision and consult independent experts to help you weigh your options. Not planning ahead could cost you a fortune. And acting on impulse could leave you overspending beyond your means.
Being a Powerball winner puts you in a unique situation. With your windfall, you’ll face new-to-you financial decisions. Don’t embark on spending, saving, gifting, or investing without first consulting the experts who know the most cost-effective way to do these things. Reach out to an attorney and a financial planner for advice. Even if you choose not to take it, you’ll at least be more educated about making decisions moving forward. And you don’t want to do it alone.
Don’t rush over to your local bank; walk up to the teller and ask how you should divide up your Powerball jackpot. Unfortunately, despite the best intentions, your local banker probably isn’t going to give you the best advice. And depending on just how much you have to deposit, you’ll want to be mindful of FDIC protections. Standard deposits can only be FDIC insured up to $250,000 per depositor and ownership category. You’ll want to ensure that wherever you put your money, it’s protected.
When it comes to knowing what not to do, this one may be the most significant. New money won’t fix all of your problems. It can certainly help, especially if you have difficulties paying bills or financing your lifestyle. However, unhealthy habits, emotional, health, or relationship problems won’t change. Or if you had problems saving money before, you’ll likely still be terrible with money now. And in many cases, these types of issues can become worse with newfound wealth. Consider getting the professional help you need for some of these concerns, should you have them.
Keep these suggestions handy so you know what not to do when you become a Powerball winner. It can be the money and sanity-saving advice list you find the most useful. Of course, now all you have to do is get out there and play.