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Are You Really Prepared To Win The Lottery? Here Are Five Mistakes To Avoid If You Get Lucky

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Think you could handle being a billionaire overnight?

The Mega Million’s jackpot is now at $970 million for this Friday’s drawing which is the second largest in U.S. lottery history as well as the biggest in the game history, according to FOX Business.

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And while the odds of nailing all six numbers [at 1-in-302.6 million], let’s say you do win…what then? A New-York based partner at Loeb & Loeb, Jonathan Rikoon, specializes in trusts and estates has some sound advice to those who come into sudden wealth.

He told FOX Business that the first step in coming into large amounts of money is to stop, think and plan.

“Don’t tell anyone yet. That includes social media!” Rikoon urged.

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Director of investor services at TD Ameritrade, Chris Bohlsen, additionally shared that while seven in 10 people admit to fantasizing about winning the lottery — most say they would either save it or invest it for the future.

We have some smart cookies out there!

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“When we asked people what they would be most excited about winning the lottery, they’re much more excited about saving or investing than they are about quitting their jobs (21 percent and 9 percent, respectively),” Bohlsen shared.

But it’s not all rainbows and butterflies — there are a few negative drawbacks that do tend to pop up after winners receive all that cash money cash.

In a poll that asked folks what their biggest concern would be if they won, the most common answers were family and friends coming at them for money, as well as fearing that “winning would change them as a person,” and last but not least, choosing between a lump sum or regular payments.



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But there are actually a few other things Bohlsen says winners should keep in mind…

So if you do win, here are his top (strong) suggestions for moving forward intelligently…

The first piece of advice Bohlsen shares is to stop and breathe. He says that while having a lot of money is a good “problem” to have, be sure to avoid impulse decisions in the first couple of months as it is very easy to act on your emotions and potentially, make a financial decision you will later regret.

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The next piece of advice? Protect the nest egg. Bohlsen says you don’t need a degree in business to understand personal finance and investing. He suggests locating and securing a financial advisor to help you navigate away from the common problems sudden wealth brings.

The third piece of advice is to keep your eyes on the price. Bohlsen suggests doing some soul searching to really try and decide what the best way is to use your new wealth. Whether it’s paying off debt, going back to college or blowing it all on a mass shopping trip — be sure that your vision for your personal values aligns with your pocketbook.

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The next piece of advice? Budget, budget and then budget some more. Successful money management comes from sticking to a budget and tracking expenses to see where the money is going and with more money, comes more budgeting, and with more budgeting, comes tracking expenses — moral of the story? STAY ORGANIZED!

And last but not least, Bohlsen suggests paying it forward by leaving a gift to future generations. Have a conversation about money as well as financial responsibility with family members and be upfront about how you will handle requests for gifts to family and friends.

You are all set! Now all you need to do is win the lottery.

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