If you’re a lottery winner, you’re bound to face some big decisions. Whether you choose to take an annuity, make a lump-sum payment, or invest your winnings, there are a few things to keep in mind.
The first thing you should do is pick a low-risk investment. Most lotteries offer annuities, which spread payments over a number of years. Usually, annual withdrawals will not exceed 4% of your winnings. You can also leave your winnings in an annuity to your heirs in your will.
In many cases, you’ll need a team of professionals to help you manage your winnings. Choosing a financial planner or investing expert can be a good idea. These professionals will make sure you’re not wasting your money.
Jack Whittaker, a West Virginia construction worker, won $314 million in the Powerball lottery in 2002. He donated his winnings to his family, friends, and strangers.
Willie Hurt won $3.1 million in the Michigan Super Lotto in 1989. He was in deep trouble when he won the jackpot, and the drug epidemic was consuming his life. After he won the lottery, he went on a drug bender.
Ibi Roncaioli won $5 million in the lottery in 1991. He was a gambler, alcohol abuser, and double-lifer. As a result, he spent much of his winnings on bad investments.
William “Bud” Post won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania Lottery in 1988. His ex-girlfriend sued him for part of the winnings, but he was able to buy cars and a twin-engine plane.