With Over $250 Million in Labor Day Lotteries, 12 Things Not to Do If You Win

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9. Do not become the big business backer for all your friends and family.

Get ready to start saying “No!” to friends and family if you become rich overnight. Chances are high that many friends or family will be coming to ask you for cash or to back their latest “million-dollar idea.” If you knew little about money or finance yesterday, did you wake up and suddenly understand venture capital or merchant banking just because your bank account grew massively?

It may sound powerful and enticing to be sought after by everyone but do not dare allow yourself to fall into this trap. 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. This could expose you to more than just a loss. You could end up with endless liabilities in some cases.

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 dare give your fortune away — you might need it!

Many lottery winners and many who become filthy rich allow themselves to be tricked into thinking that they should give away or share all that new money with society. Maybe it is a church or a charity. Maybe it is the children in poor nations. It probably seems like a nice effort to give away vast amounts of cash to charity or to religious institutions. And maybe it sounds mean that someone would tell you not to share it all.

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 giving it all away. Rather than giving everything away now, the current charitable theme of the extremely rich is to plan for how their estate will distribute their money and assets upon their death, and while still often leaving something 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. This new money will give you a chance to be very charitable. You should be charitable. Just do not dare give a fortune away all at once.

11. Do not start envying the rich athletes and celebrities.

Many movie stars, entertainers, and athletes live a life of extreme luxury. It may even be almost too hard to imagine (almost). Lottery money gives a winner the chance to live like the lucky few, and comes with pitfalls that can make them go broke. Keeping up with the Joneses is bad enough. Trying to keep up with the Kardashians or other celebrities is a recipe for disaster. It has to 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.

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12. Do not think that laws or decency standards are history.

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.

It is quite frequent that movies and television shows glamorize scoundrels. The reality in life is that fictional scoundrels would be scoundrels in real life. What good would 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.