What to Do When You Win the Lottery

what to do when you win the lottery ticket collect winnings

First and foremost—congratulations. You have beaten the seemingly insurmountable odds of 1 in 300 million by winning the lottery. After the first rush of self-doubt, mixed with excitement, you will probably ask yourself, "Now what?" after picking a lotto winner. 

Winning an amount of life-changing money has its complications; people can be self-interested and greedy. Here is what to do when you win the lottery to keep yourself and your lotto winnings safe. 

Check the Expiration Date 

Lottery tickets, just like milk, expire at some point. They have to be turned into one of the state representatives before a certain time, else they're null and void. 

Check the ticket for that date, as soon as you win any amount. If it's not listed on the card somewhere, look for a phone number somewhere on the card (it's usually on the back in small print). Call it and ask. 

You don't want to be the chump with a winning lotto ticket, only to have it expire before cashing in. 

What to Do When You Win the Lottery: Check Anonymity Laws 

This is arguably the most pertinent thing to do after you've won the lottery. Most states require the winner to reveal their personal information, like their name and address. This is for transparency reasons with the state (so it doesn't look like $300 million taxpayer's dollars disappeared). 

But, this leaves you in a pretty big predicament. Your old friend from grade school has suddenly reached out after 20 years. The pretty girl you had a crush on in college finally remembered your name. 

People will always have their interests in mind, and their interest is now on your money. 

This also leaves you vulnerable to attack from unknown strangers. You now have a mega-million target on your back. You must ready yourself for physical dangers, scams, and other risks to your well-being. 

This is a list of the states that support anonymity for lottery winners: 

1. Arizona 
2. Delaware 
3. Georgia 
4. Kansas 
5. Maryland 
6. Michigan 
7. North Dakota 
8. Ohio 
9. South Carolina 
10. Texas 

Sign the Back 

This stems from the dangers of others trying to steal your wealth, but it's wholly important. 

As soon as those magic numbers materialize on your card, you should make it yours. Sign the back of the lottery ticket or mark it with an insignia. This way, nobody can rightfully claim it was theirs. 

It's also a good idea, even for legal reasons, to document everything. Where you won the ticket, when, and who you were with at the time. 

Then, take a picture with the ticket held next to your face. In the same photo, hold up your ID and a note indicating the time. 

When you've secured your card, get your money securely through a reputable fund. 

You're in the One Percent Now 

You're living the real American dream now. You've won an incredible amount of money in an instant with the lotto. 

Coming into such a large amount of money has its complications. You need to know what to do when you win the lottery. Check your state's anonymity laws, the expiration date of the ticket, and make the lottery ticket your own


Feeling lucky? You don't have to beat the odds or win the lotto to win a chance to read our other great articles. 

Visit the Investing and Crypto sections of the Bootstrap Business Blog to learn how to increase your chances of making more money in the market. We also have a wide variety of articles on gambling, betting, and casinos to help you win big in other ways!

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