By Evan Vitale
Oh, we’re probably all, at one time or another, dreamed about winning the lottery. Big money, big house, fancy cars and endless beach vacations are all nice visions.
However, before you start spending your lottery jackpot, consider that many winners who are unprepared for sudden wealth later find themselves broke after a few years because they didn’t properly manage their winnings. One such Indiana winner quit his job and purchased real estate and expensive automobiles for family members only to return a few years later to the job he left.
The National Endowment for Financial Education estimates that 70% of all lottery winners go through their winnings within a few years.
California, however, is trying to reverse that trend. The California Lottery has created a handbook containing information on how winners can better manage their lottery prizes. In addition, it has “Win Wisely” videos available on its YouTube channel.
“While the lottery doesn’t have the obligation to give any advice at all, we do want people to be prepared for how their life will change and make smart decisions,” says California Lottery spokesman Alex Traverso. “We want to give them the opportunity to start off on the right foot.
Some big money winners, for instance, control the urge to splurge and live comfortably off their interest earned from their lottery prize money.
One huge tip in the California Lottery handbook advises winners to assemble a team of advisers including an investment expert, an attorney and an accountant. Some suggest that you find advisers who have experience working with large sums of money.
The true jackpot in any lottery isn’t winning the prize. Instead, it’s about how you spend – or save – your money after collecting the check.