As Powerball Lottery Nears $500 Million, the 12 Things Not to Do If You Win

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July’s Powerball lottery jackpot just keeps rising, and the drawing for Saturday, July 30, 2016, has now reached a $478 million annuity value. Its discounted lump sum cash value is lower, but it is still a whopping $330.6 million. This is empire-making money. Your mind can wander endlessly about you might do if you win, but the lucky winner (or winners) better have a plan in place — and they better know exactly what not to do!

It is fairly evident by now that the American Dream has shifted from a life of hard work and having a comfortable life to winning the lottery. Does it sound more exciting to be handed endless millions of dollars all at once, or to work hard your whole life, saving money and being responsible? And to make a point even further, the media and the politicians keep telling the public that it’s just too hard to get ahead and live well these days.

Whether you are talking about $478 million paid out over a lifetime or a lump sum of $330.6 million, this lottery winner will instantly have multi-generational wealth. Sadly, many lottery winners have gone broke, some in a short time. The Powerball lottery winner is going to need to exercise extreme responsibility. This is why 24/7 Wall St. has created the 12 Things Not to Do If You Win the Lottery.

Most people choose to take the cash lump-sum option rather than the annuity. Even after the discount and the high tax bill, the reality is that this is more money than most people can imagine.

Again, many lottery winners have gone broke, even after winning millions of dollars. Temptation is too much for some people. It might seem like there are no limits, but there are. Many lottery winners blow off all of the classic warnings and they feed every one of their temptations. Just understand that you can spend $100 million, $300 million or even $1 billion quite easily these days. A lack of planning and refusing to live within reasonable limits have to be prevented at all costs.

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Family relationships and friendships will be tested by instant and vast wealth. Bragging about being a lottery winner may even get you killed. Thinking that financial advice and tax advice are not needed will wreck the winners. Living on a budget is crucial. Winning the lottery certainly does not make anyone suddenly smarter about money. If these points sound silly, then understand one simple thing right here and right now: you are at severe risk of going broke after becoming filthy rich.

Do you think an entourage is cool (or cheap)? What about the private jets and yachts, or mega-mansions. Or what about a private island? These are all rather expensive, and they keep requiring money to support and protect. Art auctions, the best jewelry in the world, vintage car collections, supporting a car racing team or even buying a ticket to go into space. These can all easily wreck you.

Hopefully reality is setting in here. The entire point behind the 12 Things Not to Do If You Win the Lottery is to keep anyone who becomes suddenly wealthy from going broke. This also would pertain to anyone who unexpectedly inherits millions or who receives a large judgment. 24/7 Wall St. does not want to see anyone become incredibly wealthy and then go broke. Keep in mind that you should only have to become rich once!

Here are the 12 things not to do if you win the lottery.