ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
67°
Broken Clouds
H 81° L 59°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    67°
    Current Conditions
    Chance of T-storms. H 83° L 58°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day Created with Sketch.
    83°
    Today
    Chance of T-storms. H 83° L 58°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day Created with Sketch.
    74°
    Tomorrow
    Partly Cloudy T-storms. H 74° L 51°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

I just won the lottery! What do I do?

Well, congratulations. We all hate you now.

Actually, let us correct that; we all love you now, more than you've ever been loved before. But we may all end up hating you, eventually. And that's probably the bigger crisis.

But first, the fundamentals.

Step one: Sign the lottery ticket and call the lottery office.

Now.

If there's a way to dispute ownership of that ticket, it's going to happen, everything from claims of a verbal agreement to splitting the winnings to outright theft. This is particularly likely if you both play in your office pool and buy tickets separately – a judge recently ruled that a lottery winner had to part with some of the winnings because it wasn't perfectly clear which tickets were his and which were in the office pool.

READ: Tips for navigating your kids' birthday party circuit

If you've identified a winning ticket, you need to get to lottery officials at once, so they can identify you. The physical piece of paper in your hand is like carrying around a multi-million dollar check. The risk of it being lost or stolen is too great to wait, particularly if you don't follow step two ...

Step two. Shut up.

There are six states that allow a lottery winner to remain anonymous: Kansas, Maryland, Delaware, Michigan, North Dakota and Ohio. Every other state requires a lottery winner to be announced publically, and many of those states prohibit the use of third parties to claim a prize. They want human beings waving a giant check in front of a camera.

But the one consistent strain in the tales told about lottery winners — both those who have truly prospered after hitting the jackpot and those who eventually fell to ruin — is that they suddenly and permanently become the focus of unwanted attention. Family members will come to them looking for relief from their own financial hardships. Religious groups will almost immediately ask you to share your blessings with the needs and the faithful. Charities you've never heard of will look to you to expand. And among these supplicants will be straight-up charlatans looking to exploit your lack of experience with wealth.

READ: Crisis Button: I'm being threatened with blackmail? What should I do?

Keep your win a secret for as long as you can. That's the universal advice from winners.

Step three. Call a lawyer and a certified financial planner.

When the inevitable requests for money begin pouring in, you're going to want to be able to deflect to someone who can politely say no. You're also probably going to want to set up trusts that can manage contributions to charity and to your dependents in a tax-efficient manner. This will require the help of anestate planning attorney and a certified financial planner.

(By the way, you are probably going to want to take the lump sum payment and not the annual award. We know, we know; but the annual payments are more money over time! They're not. Inflation and the likelihood of future tax increases on dividends and capital gains make the lump sum payment more valuable now. If you want to spread out the cash, fund an investment trust with the lump sum. You'll earn more.)

READ: Valuable tips on the future: How to manage your digital afterlife

The trusts are important, not just for tax and legal purposes, but because they put a decision-making layer between you and those demanding your help. This is not to say that you should sign over the right to control the money. Never do that: Sign nothing that grants someone else the power to make significant disbursements from your accounts without your signature. But once the money is securely in your bank account, your biggest problems aren't going to be financial any more. They're going to be about your relationships and your character. If you fail the tests of relationship and character, then you'll have financial problems again.

Many of the stories of lottery winners broken by their good fortune stem from radical changes in their lifestyle.

People buy giant mansions, oblivious to the carrying costs of the property. Or they buy fancy cars without understanding the higher maintenance costs. At least as common, people make large investments in legitimate-but-risky business ventures without fully understanding the likelihood of failure. Establishing relationships with trustworthy financial advisors is essential.

READ: What should I take into consideration before investing?

Step four. Hit the books.

Of course, it can be hard for a layperson to evaluate the trustworthiness and advice of one financial advisor over another. So … you need to stop being a layperson.

Resolve, now, before other financial commitments are made, to spend at least one year quietly learning the principles of financial management. Enroll in classes. Start reading Rich Dad Poor Dad and the like. Perhaps more importantly, you'll need to be able to tell people that you're not going to dig deep into the money you've won until you're confident that you can use it wisely. Reasonable people will understand your thinking … and unreasonable people will out themselves with their reaction.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

News

  • For the fourth time in the past six days, President Donald Trump has used his platform on Twitter to take a swing at a group of more conservative Republicans in the House, this time raising the specter of using the bully pulpit against them in the 2018 elections, if they don’t get on board with his legislative agenda. “The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast,” Trump said on Twitter. “We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!” he added. The Twitter jabs against the Freedom Caucus are becoming somewhat routine for Mr. Trump, who was frustrated that he was unable to convince those lawmakers to back a GOP health care bill last week. Even before today, those type of tweets by the President have drawn frowns from some members of the Freedom Caucus, who say they’re not budging on their conservative principles, just to give Mr. Trump a legislative victory. “I disagree with him,” Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) said earlier this week, after Mr. Trump signaled his displeasure with the Freedom Caucus opposition to the GOP health bill. “My conscience was to get rid of Obamacare; this doesn’t do it,” Yoho said of the GOP plan that had the blessing of the White House. “Some of the constant tweeting is at minimum distracting, and at maximum, counterproductive to a legislative agenda,” said Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC), who also knocked the President for using Twitter to keep grousing as well about Hillary Clinton. “You’re fighting yesterday’s story if you are fighting against a candidate you were once running against that is no longer the candidate you might be running against,” Sanford said.
  • UVALDE, Texas (AP) - Federal investigators are getting their first look Thursday at the scene of a head-on collision involving a small church bus and a pickup truck that killed 13 senior adult church members onboard the bus.The Texas Department of Public Safety reported the lone bus survivor remains hospitalized in critical condition, and the pickup truck driver is in stable condition.The National Transportation Safety Board sent investigators to the scene to begin seeking the cause of the crash, NTSB spokesman Terry Williams said Wednesday.Twelve bus occupants, including the driver, were dead at the scene of Wednesday's crash, DPS Lt. Johnny Hernandez said. One bus passenger died later at a San Antonio hospital.The wreck happened about 12:30 p.m. on U.S. 83, a two-lane highway, outside Garner State Park in northern Uvalde County. The area is about 75 miles (120.7 km) west of San Antonio.It was not immediately clear what caused the collision about 120 miles (193.1 km) from the church, where the members were headed.Photos and video of the crash's aftermath showed heavy damage to the front drivers' sides of both vehicles where it appeared the two had collided. The back of the bus was up on a guardrail, with glass and debris scattered onto the grass below.Hein said the small bus was a 2004 Turtle Top, though he did not know the specific model. Turtle Top's website features shuttle buses with capacities ranging from 17 to 51 passengers, which they bill as 'a great alternative to the standard 15-passenger van.' Safety concerns have long surrounded the 15-passenger vans, also frequently used by churches and other groups, with advocates saying they can be difficult to control in an emergency.Church officials said in a statement on the First Baptist website that the members were returning from a three-day retreat at the Alto Frio Baptist Encampment in Leakey, about 9 miles (14.5 km) north of where the crash happened.The church officials were 'ministering to family members to help them deal with this tragedy,' according to the statement. Counselors also were scheduled to be available Thursday at the church.Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and his wife, Cecilia, offered their condolences in the hours after the crash.'We are saddened by the loss of life and our hearts go out to all those affected,' their statement said. 'We thank the first responders working on the scene in the wake of this unimaginable tragedy, and ask that all Texans join us in offering their thoughts and prayers.
  • The Transportation Security Administration fired a woman responsible for screening passengers’ bags after she missed a loaded handgun Sunday morning at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Channel 2 Action News reported. Katrina Jackson of Alabama noticed her .38-caliber handgun when she later looked for her passport and immediately informed officials, according to a police report obtained by Channel 2.  MORE: Fake service animals: Why airline passengers are upset Rock star accused of bringing loaded gun to Atlanta airport CNN producer detained in Atlanta files lawsuit against immigration order TSA issued a statement to the news station. “This egregious mistake was unacceptable and the officer who was still a probationary employee was immediately and permanently separated from federal service.' Jackson was charged with illegal possession of a handgun when she said she didn’t have her permit on her.  Screeners at the airport have prevented 48 guns from going through security so far this year, Channel 2 reported. Last year, 198 guns were found at checkpoints, which is more than any other airport in the United States. Hartsfield-Jackson ranks No. 1 in guns caught by TSA in 2016
  • A principal at a Christian school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is facing child porn charges. Jeff Goss is the principal at the Christian Education Alliance in west Tulsa. Goss was arrested Tuesday morning by federal officials after they reportedly caught Goss using an online application to view child pornography. >> Watch the news report here Authorities said the application lets people enter chat rooms and share videos, pictures and more. Agents from Phoenix said Goss showed his face in the chat room, and they were able to track his IP address. Goss reportedly confessed to using the app at least five times. >> Read more trending news Agents said he preferred children ages 10 to 12 and did not care if they were girls or boys. Goss allegedly told officers that he primarily teaches children ages 12 and 13. School officials said they did not find out about the allegations against Goss until FOX23.com called them. They said he did not show up to work Wednesday. The station confirmed that he is in the Tulsa County Jail. The school's website says that it has served home-school families for more than 20 years.