What Happens If you Win the Lottery Online?
How to win the Lottery Online
Winning the lottery online is a dream that most of us have had for a very long time. Now, the question is – is there a chance it will happen to almost all of us? Well, the simple answer is no. However, it doesn’t hurt to dream about it and find out what happens if you win the lottery online.
So, some of the questions people ask about what happens if you win the lottery online include:
-How much money do you get to keep for yourself?
-What are the odds of winning?
-Should you shout it out loud or stay anonymous?
Well, these and many more questions will be answered in the course of this article.
What are the odds of becoming a lottery winner?
The odds of winning the Giants multi-million jackpot lottery games anywhere in the world is around 1 in 175 million. If you decide to play every day, your odds will remain very low. However, this does not change the fact that millions of dollars are paid out in lottery winnings every year.
This means that even though most people are already aware that thousands of others try their luck every day when it comes to playing the lottery, it still doesn’t hurt to keep trying, and hope to one day hit the jackpot.
What happens as soon as you become a winner?
So, let’s assume you get lucky enough to win the lottery online; you may wonder what happens next. Well, you may think the next thing that happens would come with a lot of excitement, but you just might be faced with so much paperwork than ever had to deal with before your winning. Before you can begin with the paperwork, you will be required to sign your lottery ticket.
Whoever has a ticket is considered the winner, which is why you must claim it with your signature. This is because if you were to lose your ticket, whoever found it could easily argue it.
Once you have signed your ticket, the next thing you need to do is contact lottery authorities. However, you might want to take your time to do that because it gives the media time to lose interest in the winner. Trust that not getting media attention will go a long way to work in your favor.
Usually, it takes lottery winners between 180 to 365 days to claim their winnings. This means that you have enough time to relax and decide when to claim your prize.
Should the world know, or should you remain anonymous?
If you win the lottery, the next thing that might occur is that state officials will ask you if you would prefer to participate in a press conference or not. Whether or not you choose to participate in a press conference, there is a chance that you cannot remain completely anonymous. In America, there are only six states that allow you to remain anonymous if you happen to win the lottery. The States include Kansas, Delaware, North Dakota, Maryland, South Carolina, and Ohio.
Otherwise, if you become a winner, you will have to disclose your identity. However, the good part is that different states have different laws regarding whether or not to reveal your identity depending on the amount you win. In Texas, for example, when a person earns $1 million in the lottery, they are offered the option to conceal their identity, but that is only obtainable if they choose a non-annuity payout.
What are annuity payouts?
When you win a lottery, there will be so many decisions you need to make, and one of those is how you would like to get your money. Sometimes, you can make up your mind to collect the lump sum or opt for an annuity. An annuity is like the opposite of receiving the lump sum because instead of collecting all your money at once, you get an annual payment.
This means that you have the Liberty to set an amount that you want to be paid every year over some time. If you choose to go with the lump sum option, the tax liability may not be favorable.
Advantages of annuity
- Opting for annual payments would offer you long-term cash flow
- Annuity prevents you from blowing through your full winning at once
- Choosing annual payments will likely provide you with a lower marginal income tax bracket than when you opt for the lump sum. Which means probably paying less in taxes throughout the payment period.
- Annuity helps you better budget and maintain a particular standard of living that will guarantee stability
Disadvantages of annuity
- You do not get the opportunity to invest the entire money and seize the chance of enjoying compound interest
- If anything happens to you before your full payment is completed, whatever is remaining may not be given to your heirs or family members.
- The annual payout will not be adjusted for inflation.
- You are giving limited access to your winnings. So, if any emergency or an opportunity arises, you cannot obtain more than the annual payment amount.
- If the lottery happens to go belly up, it might affect your payments as well.
Advantages of taking the lump sum
- Winning will be taxed at current tax rates, which may go higher in the future.
- The money you receive could be worth more than the original payout if invested prudently.
- Older people are guaranteed to enjoy their entire winnings when they opt for the lump sum.
- There are no risks of unknown future variables that may affect your payout
Disadvantages of opting for the lump sum
- Choosing the lump sum means giving up a guaranteed income stream
- Any mistake of poor financial management of the amount will leave you penniless in the nearest future
- As earlier mentioned, if you win a $10 million lottery, you may end up with about $3 million after taxes
- What to do once you win
Secure your ticket
This is one thing that can never be overemphasized. Secure your winning ticket, so it doesn’t get to the wrong hands. You could go ahead and make extra copies, scan it, or have it kept in a safe deposit box. You can go ahead and contact the lottery authorities after securing your winning ticket.
You need advisors
If you’re privileged enough to win the lottery, then one group of people you cannot avoid our advisors. You need to get a couple of advisors on your team because you need a financial advisor, a tax adviser, as well as legal advisors to help you make the best decisions. If you get any advice that you do not feel comfortable with, it is acceptable to seek a second opinion. There is no need holding back as these are services that you can avoid with your new-found wealth.
Don’t be quick to quit your job
Every person who wins the lottery dreams of nothing more than leaving their job and retiring to a beautiful island where they will spend the rest of their life living La Vida Loca. Well, this is not a bad dream. But, you need to be careful so that you do not lose your job and lose the money at the same time.
Make sure that you have confirmed the numbers, and the date on your tickets is correct. Also, remember that while you are at work, it is best to keep your new status silent. This is important if you must prevent word from getting out that you are the new lottery winner, while you keep your job and take your time to collect your winnings.
What you should do after claiming your price
So, after realizing you have won a lottery, you most likely would have made the necessary arrangements for requesting for your winnings, and you have decided how you want your money to be paid. Now that all that is sorted, what do you have to do next?
#1 Discuss with the advisors you hired
Make sure to hire only the right people, and once you have them on your team, do well to consult them often. If you feel for any reason that they are not to be trusted, you have the right to hire new people. The kind of wealth that comes with winning a lottery can be terrifying, so make sure that you have only the best help when it comes to making decisions.
#2 Pay off your debts
Whether they are credit card debts, student loans, a second mortgage, or auto loans, paying off your debt is one of the best ways to start a new life. However, you want to be careful enough to keep your primary mortgage, provided it comes with a low-interest rate. The reason for this is that the more money in your possession, the higher your tax bracket, and the more critical your tax deductions become. Make sure to talk to your professionals about what to do with your loans after paying off the ones with high-interest rates.
#3 Start an emergency fund
No matter how rich you are, you just might run into financial problems one time or another. It is ok to set up a healthy size emergency fund with your money. A rule of thumb is to put aside enough money for six months of expenses.
#4 Save up some retirement money
One of the best choices a winner can make is to allocate a certain percentage of the cash to retirement accounts. It won’t be a good story to tell to go back to work when you are 80 after winning a jackpot in your youth.
#5 Diversify your investment
The best way to remain rich for a very long time is to diversify your Investments. Make sure you seek investment advice from a professional.
#6 Set up college funds for the kids
Do you have children of your own, or do you have a loved one who could use some help with their child’s education? Make a tax-free gift towards the education of whatever child you have in mind.
Offer a hand to the less fortunate
If you run into this kind of money, one of the best ways to give back to society is to help the less fortunate. Whether you decide to give to a charity, to a church, or simply do something beautiful for family members who are facing hard times, the choice is yours. Also, this can be a brilliant thing to do because if you donate to a qualified charity, you automatically deduct the donations from your taxes. This is a win-win situation if you choose to see it that way.
#7 Learn to say No to some people
When the world knows you’ve won a lottery, what do you know and people you’ve never met in your life who want to ask for a share of the money. Regardless of the reasons they come with, whether good or bad, you need to learn to turn some of them down until you have made up your mind on how to save your winnings, and how much to spend.
This may be a very tricky decision you would have to make in a time like this. You would also get a lot of threats, pressure, as well as manipulations from people around you. However, the most straightforward thing you can do is to tell them you have agreed to discuss with your financial advisor, your parents, or your spouse before you let go of any cash.
Our Last Thoughts on Winning the Lottery
Winning the lottery online will be a dream come true for anybody who has been playing for a long time, or who has decided to try for the very first time. However, only one person in millions of people will get a chance to own this huge sum.
While the odds are really low for every single player, the fact remains that with luck on your side, you might be a winner soon. Just remember to put all the advice you’ve read into consideration if, and when that day comes.