Financial Advice After Winning a Lottery Jackpot

A couple that won a jackpot last year ended up divorcing just a little more than a year later. That’s not uncommon, even for winners of huge sums, which is why financial advisors recommend that lottery winners put together a team that includes an attorney, accountant and a financial planner, says a wealth manager in Arlington, Virginia. It’s also a good idea to review one’s investment goals, strategies and risk tolerance after hitting the jackpot, because the new money can alter how one invests.

In addition to tax planning, lottery winners should keep their eye on impulse spending, which can quickly derail the happiest of times. Many states impose an income tax on lottery winnings. And, it may be wise to set up an escrow account or trust with the winning amount, and to only use it for large purchases.

Lottery winners typically have the option to take their prize in a lump sum or annuity payments, which are paid over 30 years. More than 90% of lottery winners choose the lump sum payment. The annuity option would pay out bi-weekly, monthly or annually for three decades, and by the end of that period it would pay out more than double the lump sum payout, CNBC reports.

Regardless of how the winner chooses to receive their prize, he or she should know that the lottery commission will withhold a portion of their winnings for administrative costs. The state government may then distribute those remaining funds to a variety of local and state programs, including education, public health, law enforcement and community development initiatives.