Recently, as I was standing in line at the bank, I overheard the employees chattering excitedly regarding the upcoming lottery. Apparently it was going for a lot of money this time and people were hopeful. Everyone was talking about having a secure financial future and how it would be even better if it came so easily. They were all going to go in on some tickets so that in the event that they won, they would split the winnings. However, what happens if they do win? There are a few things that they probably hadn’t thought of in the excitement of the large pool. Payout options are the first thing that they should think about and decide before hand.
Structured settlements or annuity payments are usually what is opted for when someone wins the lottery. This is one of two options that lottery winners can go for. There are some pros and cons to get paid annually or monthly or whatever you decide on.
- You don’t have to panic over the sudden influx in money.
- Gives you more time to decide how to invest.
- Pay less in fees and taxes.
- Easier to handle and doesn’t disrupt life as much.
- Unable to make large purchases right off the bat.
- Potential risk of amount changing throughout the years.
- No access to cash when needed.
Opting for yearly payments instead of lump sum payments may be a good idea if you are just one person but if you are going to be splitting your winnings like the bank employees, you may want to consider lump sum payments.
Lump Sum Payments
Getting all your money at once is the other option when you win the lottery. It may take awhile for you to get it all but once you have it, it’s yours and you won’t have to give it up. Here are some pros and cons to this option.
- Ability to buy whatever you want when you want it.
- Higher chance of investing properly.
- Higher withdrawal fees.
- Friends and family may act oddly or make inappropriate requests.
- Necessary mental changes have to be made in order to act wisely.
Now understanding the two options, if you are going to be splitting the winnings, here are a few questions your parents and yourself should consider.
- If you opt for yearly payments, how will you split the winnings between all of you? Is everyone in agreement for yearly payments? Will those who put in more money to buy the initial tickets, get more in the winnings? Does everyone partake in the winnings or only those who bought the original winning ticket?
- If you decide on a lump sum payment, what percentage will you all get? Again, keep in mind the same questions as above.
- Who will pick on the winnings? Do you trust them to divvy up the proceeds accordingly? Will they run off with the winnings? Do you have their contact information?
- How will you decide how to collect the winnings? Is an escort provided? Is security provided? Where will you take the winnings initially?
- Will you keep in contact after winning? Will you stay friends or part ways purposefully?
- How will you handle the media? Will all of you be allowed to talk to the media or just one designated person? Will you have a spokesperson who is not one of the winners?
- Will you discuss money after splitting the winnings? Will you pretend it never happened or be allowed to discuss what you will do with the money?
Some of these questions you may deem unnecessary, especially if you are all friends but you will find that things will change once you win. An alarming percentage of lottery winners regret their wins. Many have said they wish that they never won the lottery because of how their lives changed. A lot of those changes have to do with the people around you; friends, family and partners in winning. You will need to set boundaries and limitations even with those who you plan to win with. Things change after coming into a large amount of money and you want to make sure that everyone is clear about the appropriate way to act after winning. While winning can be an exciting time, there’s a lot to think about.