What to Do If You Win the Lottery: A Complete Guide to Money, Fame, and Losing It All

What to Do If You Win the Lottery: A Complete Guide to Money, Fame, and Losing It All
Hint: Change your name, address, and phone number, don't give any to ANYONE and pray you don't get bankrupt, sued, or murdered.
For the last few years, a detailed and hilariously scary tale of what happens when you have the terrible luck of winning the lottery has been circulating emails, forums, Reddit and the ominously simple ifyouwinthelottery.com. The original author is unknown, some attribute it to Reddit user BlakeClass, while many other postings are missing any credit. What is clear, though, is that if you win PowerBall be very, very careful.  (If anyone knows the proper source, please let me know!)

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  • John

    I was just having this exact conversation with my family. Really interesting stuff, good work.

  • Tim

    So this post was definitely just taken from Reddit, right?

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Hi Tim,

      As mentioned in the big call out at the top of the post, this awesome work has been circulating multiple forums and websites for a while and without a clear author. Even on Reddit it’s been submitted by different people. If you happen to know the original I’d love to include a link and credit to that awesome writer.

  • Steve

    Now I’m scared.

  • CryptoReporter

    If you do plan to give anything to your family… reconsider the way you do it. First, you pay taxes on all those winnings. Now say you buy them a house. They will owe taxes again because you can only give someone $14K yearly as a gift without taxes. You can do it wiser by putting the car or house in your name and simply let them use it. Which brings me to another point…

    The way the 1% does it is to create a foundation to help people and put your family members in charge of the foundation. You are helping others and helping them too since they need a stipend to run the foundation 😉 plus you get tax write offs for donating to non profit foundations 🙂 See how that all works? The money is there for them to use, its just not exactly in their bank account.

  • Paden

    Great info!

  • michaeljonesy

    This post has always seemed very dramatic to me.

    I have confidence that anyone from an educated background would do well from a lottery win. The whole ‘You’re fucked, here is a list of x people who have lost it all’ doesn’t really say anything.

    You hear about these people because it’s a good story. You don’t hear about the people who win and live happily and quietly ever after.

    If you win you are far from fucked if you have any sense about you.

  • Butch_Zee

    Look up Mark Cuban’s advice for lottery winners.

  • TJ

    Great info. I definitely agree on the part about setting up a trust. If you retain an attorney is there any way to allow the attorney to speak for you and keep your name out of it? Attorneys at large firms like that are probably used to media attention and I’d want as little media attention as possible.
    As for financial advisers, I’d be tempted to get one from the company I work for. Without getting into details I work for a company that provides insurance, banking, and financial services among other things. We have a great reputation for doing the best thing for our customers and I can tell you that they push that really hard all the time (do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do). I would explain to them that I want to set up something like the article mentions, a steady investment with a relatively small rate of return. By “relatively small” I mean to the size of the original investment and I feel confident they would honor my wishes.
    I would also be tempted to pay off my mother’s existing house. I’d want to pay off all my debt but I wonder how that would affect my credit because I would think having debt but paying on time every month would help and not having any debt would hurt. For example when I applied for my first car loan two years ago I was quoted ridiculously high rates because all I’d ever had before was a store credit card and student loans. Of course if I have that much money, my credit score might not matter anymore.

    • James

      TJ, some of what you say sounds great. But I just have to make one comment regarding what you mentioned about keeping some debt for your credit score. Paying off all of your debt in no way hurts your credit score. This is a big myth. I’ve only had one credit card (a Discover that I got in college) and student loans. I keep no running balance on my card as I make sure to pay it off every month. I’m only 26 and my credit score hovers around 790-810 depending on how much I have on the card at any moment. If I have debt on the card, my score drops. Pay it all off if you can and stop believing that “having” debt shows you’re responsible. Paying off debt shows you’re responsible.

  • Israel

    Definitely not to tell anyone. Just tell all your family you just found a new good job out of the country or town, get lost for a while just to keep the waves calm in your head.

  • Melissa Pearl

    I want to share with you my little experience with the lottery, i i have been playing the lottery for so long now, and i have never won any reasonable amount,any time i hit the lottery, it will not be more that 500 bucks, i found this as a very big situation, cause i was left without nothing in the street of New York , so winning the lottery was my only hope, so that i can give my daughter the kind of life she deserve, but all effort to win the lottery was in vain, until i come across Dr.Poula on net, an African traditional voodoo doctor, who i explain my problems to, and he promise to help me win the lottery with his voodoo powers, i was referred to him by a friend , so i have to believe and trust in him, finally Dr.Poula cast the spell within few hours and gave me some numbers to play, because i have already told him the type of game i am going for, i was in shock, when the numbers Dr.Poula gave me hit the lottery big, with the numbers, i won $68 Million dollars, i am so much filled with joy, because i can now live fine, and give my daughter the good life she deserve, contact Dr poula via http://drpoulaspell.wixsite.com/website or [email protected] you might need it good luck…………..

  • murray Alex