12 Dumb Things People Do After Winning the Lottery
With the Wednesday (May 4) Powerball Jackpot estimated at $348 million, there are a lot of people playing and dreaming of becoming an instant multi-millionaire. Unfortunately, many winners make some really dumb mistakes that send them from riches to rags.
According to 24/7 Wall Street, one of the dumbest things people do is lose the ticket, fail to sign it, take the ticket to the lottery office or even check the numbers to see if they won. Add to that the number of disputes over who actually owns the ticket, and you've suddenly got a whole lot of trouble.
Dumb Thing #2 - Tell everyone you know you're now wealthy beyond your wildest dreams. Some of these people, and a whole bunch you don't even know are more than happy to help you spend all that money 'wisely.' Which really means they're looking to you for their own big easy payout.
Dumb Thing #3 - Take the single payout instead of the annuity. There are some cases where this may be beneficial, but 70% of people who get rich without earning it, end up broke. At least with the annuity, you're guaranteed a paycheck every year.
Dumb Thing #4 - Just because you're rich doesn't mean you're smart enough to handle all that money. Pay trustworthy people who have experience with wealth to manage it.
Dumb Thing #5 - Not paying off all of your debt. You're an overnight multi-millionaire, so there's no reason at that point you should owe money to anyone.
Dumb Thing #6 - Thinking the money is endless. Sudden wealth doesn't mean you can blow large amounts of your winnings on a life of luxury. That lifestyle comes with a price tag that will eventually put you in the poor house.
Dumb Thing #7 - Buying a lot of expensive things for you, your family, friends, etc. It's fine to be a bit generous, but the more you give, the more unsustainable it becomes, no matter how many millions you have.
Dumb Thing #8 - Failing to build and follow a budget. If you're that rich, there is no reason to end up with the 'too much month at the end of the money' syndrome. Your financial advisers can keep you from doing a lot of these dumb things, but it is your money, spend it prudently.
Dumb Thing #9 - Becoming the source of loans or investments to other people. That's what venture capitalists and banks are for. Best to stick to what you know and leave the rest to the professionals.
Dumb Thing #10 - Being too charitable. Yes, you should absolutely support worthwhile causes, but not at the expense of everything else. Remember, charity begins at home, so take care of the really important things first.
Dumb Thing #11 - Thinking being rich makes you a celebrity. This leads to dumb things 6 and 7. Which means you'll not only lose all your money but your friends and family as well.
Dumb Thing #12 - Getting the attitude that because you're rich you're above the law and good morals no longer apply to you. Life isn't about money, it's about being a decent human being. Plus, do you really want to spend your time in court and money on a bunch of lawyers?
24/7 Wall Street sums it up this way, "Remember this adage: You should only have to get rich once! Following a list of things to do or not do sounds easy enough. Unfortunately, life’s temptations can get in the way of logic."