How to Handle A Big Lottery Win

Serving Waukegan, Libertyville, Lake County, Gurnee & nearby areas of Illinois

Regrettably, the winning Powerball Tickets in the $1.5 billion dollar bonanza were not sold in either Illinois or Wisconsin.  It will be interesting to watch the winners reveal themselves in the near future.  You may be able to tell whether a winner will squander their new found wealth based solely on the fact that they publicly announce their luck almost immediately.

Rather than cashing the ticket in right away, the more prudent approach would be for the winner to seek the counsel of a good estate planning attorney and wealth management group.  Rather than having all of the money payable to one person, a good law firm will help the winner set up trusts and/or a limited liability company which allows the funds to go to the winner's spouse, children, immediate family and other trusted individuals in that person's life as a way to reduce income tax liability now and in the future.  A philanthropic plan putting some of the large winnings to charitable uses will not only make the winner feel better about themselves but can also do some good in the world for more than just a limited circle of people.  If you ever come into to a large sum of money, from the lottery or an inheritance or otherwise, some good planning with the right people can go a long way towards making this life changing event a positive occurrence and not a financial disaster.

Keep in mind too that the winner should do everything in their power to avoid a lot of publicity, even in states where a winner is not allowed to be anonymous.  A person who gains fame through their lottery victory will be preyed upon, both by people they know and those they have never met.  Consider having a professional trustee or money manager named as the face of the winner for publicity purposes.  They will be able to ignore the opportunists and look out for your best interests.

Congratulations to the three winners.  They will find happiness only if their luck is combined with some wisdom.