What to Do, or Not Do, If You Just Won a Million Dollar Lottery

February 17, 2016 | By Steven DiGregorio

Winning the lottery is a fantasy for millions of Americans! Imagine winning tens of millions of dollars! Or imagine winning over $100 million! With the introduction of The Powerball, some lucky players can win upwards of hundreds of millions or even a billion dollars overnight! Talk about life-changing!

There are a number of things lottery winners must do immediately after discovering that they have won the big prize!!

  1. The first is that you had better sign your ticket! This is essentially laying claim to the “golden ticket” before filing to claim the winnings. After winning the lottery, complete the back of your ticket, including your name, address, phone number and signature. Remember, each lottery ticket is a bearer document, meaning it is legally owned by whomever possesses it, at least until it is signed.
  2. You might want to go tell everyone you know, but don’t! — your life could depend on it, literally. Make no mistake, everyone will be your best friend, have a great idea and you’ll be contacted by long lost relatives the minute your good fortune is made public! Granted it’s an exciting time but take a deep breath, you’re still at the starting gate.
  3. Assemble your team of professionals that will help you with the decision processes and best advise you on legal & tax ramifications, estate considerations & investment strategies. This team should include a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Estate Planning Attorney and an experienced Financial Planner & Investment Advisor. Deciding on a “go it alone” strategy would be the ultimate no-no!
  4. The next decision is to determine when to file the claim. Timing can be very important. It can mean more opportunity to make critical decisions, delay taxation and ultimately plan best for your new found wealth!
  5. The last big decision would involve choosing the payout method; lump sum or lifetime income. There is much that goes into this pivotal decision. Make sure your advisors explain the choices and strategies involved here and are in harmony with your final decision. This can save you enormous tax ramifications and legal entanglements.

Winning the lottery may be the dream for millions of Americans, but it comes with great responsibility though. For those persons that do not have the right counselors, many may end up making poor decisions and lose their wealth as fast as they won it! Statistics prove that a great number of lottery winners end up filing for bankruptcy within a few short years following the windfall! The best advice is to take your time, assemble the team and follow the advice. Then you can look forward to a bright and opportunity filled future of your dreams!!! “Gotta be in it to win it!”


About Compass Asset Management Group

Our boutique-style firm has an investment philosophy is both prudent and value driven. We combine research from the largest firms on Wall Street with three decades of market experience to provide strategic, tactical and dynamic investment management.  Compass Asset Management Group, LLC delivers personalized financial planning, estate planning and investment management advice in a private setting with a high degree of sensitivity to your concerns and objectives. Our goal is to exceed yours expectations by listening closely, understanding deeply and communicating well through frequent, personal consultations entirely focused on your financial goals.

Make the right choice with your financial future. Consult Compass Asset Management Group for advice & guidance that will change your life. Plan better to live better…Call Compass Asset Management Group.


Please note that the content of this blog does not constitute tax advice and is only intended for the educational purpose of the reader.  Please consult your tax advisor for specifics regarding your circumstances.

For more information contact us at 845.563.0537 or Contact@CompassAMG.com

Steven M DiGregorio is President of Compass Asset Management Group, LLC and an Investment Advisor Representative with Spire Wealth Management, LLC a Federally Registered Investment Advisory Firm.  Securities offered through an affiliated company Spire Securities, LLC a Registered Broker/Dealer and member FINRA/SIPC.





Tags: CFP, Compass Asset Management Group, CPA, Estate Attorney, Financial Planner, investment advisors, lottery, mega millions, powerball, sudden wealth, Taxes

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STEVEN M DIGREGORIO is President of Compass Asset Management Group, LLC and an Investment Advisor Representative with Spire Wealth Management, LLC.
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