You Won the Lottery! Now what?
Private islands. A fleet of yachts. Dream cars. The recent $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot drawing has Americans buzzing over what they would do if they won the lottery. The chatter seems to be extra noisy around town after it was announced Tuesday that the winning number was traced to only one ticket, sold in upstate South Carolina.
The $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot was the largest winnings on US record for only one ticket. The ticket was sold from a KC Mart in Simpsonville, SC. Though we may never know who the winner is – SC is one of several states that does not require lottery winners to publicly reveal their identities – the South Carolina Lottery has a good piece of advice for the winner: “…Sign the back of the ticket, place the ticket in a safe location, speak with a trusted advisor and CALL THE LOTTERY. Take a deep breath and enjoy the moment!” (Bacon, 2018)
We can’t stress it enough: Before you spend – think! Though winning the lottery (specifically the most recent lottery) can be a 1 in 302,575,350 chance, (Horton, 2018) it still is important to have a plan for what to do if your financial situation ever were to change drastically in your favor, whether coming into a large inheritance, selling a successful business or even a promotion or bonus at work. Regardless of how you got here, your plan should start with thinking.
The estimated cash payout of the $1.5 billion prize is $913 million should the winner choose the lump-sum option. Yet taxes are poised and ready to take a big bite if you go this route – about half of your winnings. The other option is to go for the annual annuities over 30 years. While this option may pay out less initially, it nets more over time. (Horton, 2018)
In order to make the best decision for your financial needs, it is important to understand your current financial situation. A holistic overview of your overall financial condition including income, expenses, assets, debts, and liabilities can help you build an effective long-term plan. We believe this plan should include paying off debt, investing, charitable giving, and of course, planning for those fun splurges.
While the gathering and analysis of this information can seem overwhelming and not as much fun as say, driving up the coast in your new Maserati, a trusted financial advisor can be your greatest asset. Speaking with someone you trust and know to be competent can help you not only wrap your head around the overall picture, but they can do a lot of the leg-work for you while you get to live and enjoy the moment now.
Your inheritance or recent windfall can be a blessing that if well managed, can make a lasting positive impact on not only your life but the lives of future generations. While we may not all be lottery winners, we can be good stewards of wealth with a little planning, care, and help from a trusted friend.
Bacon, J. (2018, October 24). There’s A Winner! Ticket sold for $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot in South Carolina. Retrieved from USA Today: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/10/24/mega-millions-winning-ticket-south-carolina/1747679002/
Horton, A. (2018, October 23). So many people are buying Mega Millions tickets that number combinations are running out. Retrieved from The Mercury News: https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/10/23/so-many-people-are-buying-mega-millions-tickets-that-number-combinations-are-running-out/
This article is for informational use only and should not be considered investment advice or an offer to sell any product. The opinions expressed herein are those of MFC and are subject to change without notice. MFC reserves the right to modify its current investment strategies and techniques based on changing market dynamics or client needs. MFC is an independent investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about MFC including our investment strategies, fees and objectives can be found in our ADV Part 2, which is available upon request. MFC-18-10.