5 things to do if you win the lottery

Lotto Winners Guide: What to Do if You Win the Lottery

Five steps to take once you’ve hit the grand prize.

Are you the winner of New York's $432 MILLION Mega Millions jackpot? Past and future winners: you're gonna wanna read these tips.

The moment you’ve always dreamed about has come true—you’ve won the lottery and you’ve won BIG. Once you’ve seen those winning numbers flash before your eyes, the biggest question is “Now what?”

Step 1: Sign your ticket

With Jackpocket, if your lottery prize is above the threshold amount for your state, we securely transfer your physical ticket to you so that you can claim your prize from the state lottery. Sign the back of your lottery ticket as soon as you have it in your hands. If you drop it, lose it, or accidentally let it fall out of your wallet when you’re reaching for a credit card, it becomes easy for someone else to claim.

Step 2: Think about your privacy

You’re excited about your big winnings and likely want to shout it from the rooftops. Don’t do this. Once the news spreads that you’ve won, not only will friends and family be badgering you, charities, financial advisors, and more will be reaching out to you. Check out our state-by-state guide, to see if your state allows you to stay anonymous. 

Step 3: Talk to the professionals

Before you claim your prize, you will want to talk to financial advisors, lawyers, and accountants to understand how to best deal with your winnings. They can help you crunch the numbers and decide if you would like to take the prize money as a one-time cash payment or in annual payments over time (the important lump sum vs annuity question!).

Step 4: Figure out your plan

Now that you’ve talked to all the professionals and understand the different avenues for your financial future, you can make your plan. Your plan will go beyond deciding to accept your prize in a lump sum or annuity, and will need to include factors like estate planning, your will, current debt payments, and investments. Don’t forget to set aside a fixed amount for splurges—after all, you want to enjoy all your money too!

Step 5: Claim your prize

For a step-by-step guide on how to claim a lottery prize from home, click here. Otherwise, you'll make an appointment to visit your local state lottery claim center. 

Haven’t won big bucks just yet? Play your favorite lottery games on Jackpocket to be the next big winner and check out our Autoplay feature to ensure you never miss a lottery drawing with your lucky numbers.

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