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What to do when you win the lottery – tips to ensure you get the most out of your big win

We’ve all spent hours daydreaming about what we’d do if we were to win a big jackpot prize in a national or international lottery, and I’m sure everybody has plans which include luxury holidays, new houses, and cars, gifts to charity and family members. When you hear about huge jackpots such as the recent $636 million Mega Millions prize, does your mind go into overdrive? Here we have compiled a list of things you should think about when your numbers come up.

After the initial shock has worn off, make sure that you read the instructions on the back of the paper lottery ticket, or the terms and conditions on the website where you made the purchase. Print or photocopy several copies of your lottery ticket and ensure that the original is in a safe place.

It’s always a good idea to contact a lawyer after a big lottery win. A legal expert can help you to weigh up your options regarding bank accounts and donations and help you to avoid any legal pitfalls when it comes to spending your money.

Find out about the tax laws in your country. In the UK, the tax authorities don’t recognise lottery winnings from the UK Lotto or EuroMillions as income, and so the total jackpot amount will be yours to keep. However in the USA, for example, the taxes on Powerball and Mega Millions lottery winnings are significant no matter how you choose to take your winnings.

Make sure your lottery syndicate is in a legal agreement. Whether or not you have a verbal agreement to split the winnings equally, you need to ensure that you have legally binding paperwork which protects every winning member in every possible circumstance, ensuring there are no disagreements further down the line!

Finally, be smart! We’ve all heard the stories of former lottery millionaires claiming bankruptcy, and you don’t want to be one of them! Enjoy your winnings, celebrate and go a little crazy, but in moderation!

The first step is to purchase a lottery ticket online at…