How to Handle Winning a Lottery Jackpot

lottery jackpot

When you win a lottery jackpot, it can change your life dramatically. It can also cause a lot of stress. And the way you handle your winnings is a crucial decision that requires careful planning and likely the input of professionals, like an accountant, lawyer and financial planner or wealth management adviser.

The first thing to think about is how you will spend your money. Rather than treating the lottery as a form of gambling, consider it a form of entertainment that is unlikely to make you rich. It can still be addictive, though, and you should set a spending limit to keep from going broke or overspending.

Another important consideration is whether you will choose a lump-sum or annuity payout. The lump-sum option gives you a one-time payment, while the annuity offers 29 annual payments that increase by 5% each year.

The odds of winning a lottery jackpot depend on the numbers you choose and how many tickets you buy. It’s important to select a set of numbers that aren’t popular or commonly used. That will lower your likelihood of having to share your prize with other winners who chose the same numbers. Also, be sure to avoid patterns like diagonal lines or zig-zags. Those are less likely to be drawn than single numbers or straight lines. In addition, you should only play a lottery that is legal in your state.