What should we do when we win the Lotto?

Yesterday evening, I went for a walk with my wife (I’ll call her “Red-haired She-Devil” for short). She had a serious hankering for some Ho-Ho’s, and so we hoofed it to Seven-Eleven.

While paying for our Ho-Ho’s (and King Dons - we went whole hog), I noticed that they had installed a lottery machine. We hadn’t bought a lottery ticket in twenty years, give or take. Still, remembering the punch line of a favorite joke (“Moshe! Meet me halfway! Buy a ticket!”), we bought a ticket.

It’s been so long, we had to ask the nice lady behind the counter how the games work any more.

Anyway, the drawing is tonight. For the price of a buck, we’ve bought ourselves the right to fantasize about what to do with our anticipated winnings.

So, assuming that my current job is not exactly life-fulfilling and thus will not hold me post-riches, what should we do with our soon-to-be wealth?

Mmmm…Ho Hos.

(Or would it be, “…Ho Hoes”…??? Where’s Dan Quayle when you need him?)

You should definately send me a small or medium sized check (your choice!). I promise to spend it wisely (according to me).

I hope you win!

Funny I was thinking of this recently. I buy the occasiional ticket when one of my afternoon walks leads me across the path of a certain store where I buy a fruit juice on my way back home. I then spend the 20 minute walk thinking of stuff I’d do, mostly unispiring, or things I’d be able to do anyway given sufficient savings. Here’s the kicker, I almost never remember to check the numbers. Ussually it takes my wife getting ready to toss thenm that makes me check em out.

Be prepared to hear from everyone you ever met in your life, and a lot of begging strangers (& Dopers if you start a thread "Ask the Multi-Million Dollar Lottery Winner).

Well, small amount of money (let’s say under US$10K) is no biggie. Put down on a Thunderbird while Ford is still making them. Enjoy it.

For more than that, put it in a safe-deposit box. Make a copy and hire a CPA to act as an agent for you. (Have him) use a copy to ensure you did in fact win. Then figure out if you want One Big Check or an Annual Payment.

Tax rules will make the big difference here. Complex stuff.

It would take payments well in excess of your annual salary to let you quit work. (After all you would be paying for your own dental plan as a Man of Leisure.) Also you must consider that you might have the bad luck of living longer than the annual payments. Make sure you save enough to keep yourself in caviar.

So all in all I would not get too excited until you get to a level of about:
Annual Salary x 2 or 3 x 20 years.

A million just isn’t what it used to be.

If you do hit it big, drop me a line. My wife has two tropical islands we got stuck with. Buy one we will give you both. (We will include a white cat so you can practice saying “So, Meester Bond…”)

Good luck.

Get a new, unlisted phone number. If you don’t, every charity in the world will be calling you, including many “charities” of questionable legitimacy.

You’ll also have a lot more “friends” than you ever knew you had. Be wary of them as well.

Not that I am speaking from any experience with acquiring such riches, mind you (I can only wish).

Are there any books by people of modest means who have won big and want to describe their experiences?

Don’t know about any books but I can tell you about the experiences of some family friends of ours who won several million dollars. Now bear in mind this was back in the 70s, when several million dollars was serious money. This was your standard married couple with a kid family. They won something like 8.5 million. They put most of it away and the husband kept his job. The wife became stay-at-home. Within a few months they had to hire a bodyguard for their son because of the volume of kidnap threats they received for the son. Eventually they felt they had to move out of town because they had gotten so much publicity that their lives and their safety were completely disrupted. We lost touch with them after that so we have no idea what’s going on with them today.

An oddly-difficult Google search (“lottery winning experience”, not “lottery winning book”–“book” yielded a lot of stuff on how to win, rather than what happens afterward) yielded a few of interesting links…

Some general US-based advice:
Note that Canadian lotteries are different; lottery winnings are not taxed in Canada, and they are often awarded as lump sums. I live in Canada. :slight_smile:

I have heard this is a good book:


How much are you planning to win? Assuming we’re talking about some obscenely humongous sum, here’s my plan…

First stop, San Francisco International Airport. I go to the International Terminal, walk up to the nearest ticket counter and buy a 1st class ticket on the next flight out.

This process continues at intervals determined by how much I enjoy my stay at each destination, until I either get sufficiently homesick, or I have been everywhere.

There must have been some kind of mixup at the Lottery office, because none of the number on our ticket matched the numbers drawn. I’m beginning to wonder if the whole thing is rigged or something. . .

Host a mega-DopeFest! And sponsor everybody’s travel and hotel expenses!

First thing, hire a financial planner. Not someone to CONTROL your money for you, but someone to advise you about how to invest your winnings and how to control your spending.

Second thing, hire a nutritionist and a personal trainer. Now that you’re wealthy, you should keep yourself healthy so that you can enjoy your winnings as long as possible.

Go to the Chicago Reader, and see how much it would cost to buy the Straight Dope; then take over this message board and rule over it with an Iron Fist.

I don’t know about books but English TV has this now fairly long running TV series called At Home with the Braithwaites about what happened to a woman who wins the lottery but doesn’t tell the husband. Very good programme, though all the characters seem to be more miserable now than before the win. I comfort myself with the fact that this is the case in real life a lot of the time.

But I still want to win.

You received what is known as The Bend Over Ticket ©. BOT’s are interspersed throughout a roll of scratch off’s for quality control. The next ticket on the roll that you did not buy will be a winner.

Also, if you buy dollar scratch offs, there are more BOT’s than in then $2, $5, $10 & $20 scratch offs. However, if you buy 20 one dollar tickets, you will hit a winner and have the excitement & drama of scratching off the gray squares 20 times over a ‘money shot’ deal of a $20 ticket.

Further Lottery insider information that No One Knows About is that when you do a MegaMillions or Big Game Or PowerBall tickets, your numbers that you choose will always be one number off what is picked. To cure this problem, just play the previous numbers drawn.

You are also more likely to win if you either live in a depressed economic urban area, a depressed economic rural area, a trailer park, or are very old with a heart condition and no heirs but cats. People in gated communites have never won, as far as we know. They just have rotten luck overall and would rather stay indoors in their McMansions with their plasma screen TV’s, Bose Stereo systems and third wife named Tiffany and a Lexus, Rover, Jag and Crossfire in each bay of their four car garage.

Remember, a portion of your lottery purchases goes towards the educational system. It’s a win/win situation for everyone.

Thank you and keep playing!

  • Your Lottery Commission.

I’ll tell you what I’d do: I would quit my job, then buy the company I work so I could fire my boss. Then I’d sell the company again - no further need for it.

This would of course be followed by buying a nice house and paying off some debts, then opening my own hobby store.