9. Do not become everyone’s business backer.
Being a venture capitalist or a merchant banker sure sounds powerful and enticing. One common theme that has come up with lottery winners who suddenly get vast sums of cash is that their friends and family start pitching them on endless business ideas. Sure, some will sound great and some will sound crazy.
If someone has no knowledge of a particular business and does not know what it takes to actually run a business, will they do better because a lottery winner who lucked into vast wealth gave them money to start it? If your answer is yes, you seriously need to protect yourself (from yourself).
10. Do not give away the whole fortune immediately!
Many winners may want to immediately share their new wealth with society. It may seem nice to give away vast amounts of cash to charity or to religious institutions. This might not be the case for everyone, but giving away an entire fortune or a large part of it to a charity or to religious institutions needs to be given great consideration. You can be generous without doing the unthinkable. Rather than giving everything away now, the current charitable trend of the extremely rich is to plan for how to give the money away upon their death, while still often leaving some for their heirs.
Imagine what you will feel like down the road when a serious crisis arises in your life or your family’s life, knowing that you no longer had the means to change it. Should you be charitable? Absolutely! Should you give it all away? Absolutely not!
11. Don’t let celebrity and athlete envy get you.
Those movie stars and entertainers sure seem to live the high life. Keeping up with the Jonses is bad enough, but definitely do not try to keep up with the Kardashians or other celebrities. It may seem cool to own a 200-foot yacht. It may seem practical that certain celebrities have an entourage, or to have a film crew following you around. It may seem cool owning castles in Europe. Owning an original Picasso painting sure sounds impressive.
Having a big new private jet makes sense for a lot of people. Trying to dodge taxes might even sound appealing to misguided people. Now go add up the price tags of these things, plus the cool cars and houses and the rest of it. You can go broke really quickly. Just ask actors and athletes who did this how they feel now.
12. And don’t think laws and decency standards no longer apply.
Some people think the rich can do whatever they want without consequences. It is true that the wealthier you get, the more high-class trouble you can find. It is also true that the rich can afford better attorneys and legal defense then the rest of us. Still, living a reckless life without concerns about the law will not keep you from going to prison, or worse.
A good sports coach will tell any star athlete upfront that chances are high they will have to be human for far longer than they are going to stars. Movies and television shows often glamorize scoundrels, but what good does it do you if you are incredibly wealthy and such a pariah that no one will associate with you? Remember, you don’t get to take any of your wealth with you.
24/7 Wall St. would not want anyone who wins the lottery to end up broke. Losing wealth, or worse, is just not how things are supposed to go. Following a list of tasks may sound easy enough. Unfortunately, life and temptations can often interfere with logic.
One last thing here. Please keep in mind that the odds of a Powerball winning are 1 in 292,201,338. The odds of winning the Mega Millions are 1 in 258,890,850. Those are only representative of one American adult out of the entire United States, assuming that every adult plays. Many more thousands times that number strike it rich from hard work and a little luck each year. Maybe the lottery is really just the American Pipe Dream.