What To Do If You Win The Lottery

Posted by Fitz Villafuerte under Mindsetting, Personal Finance on November 17, 2010

The biggest lottery jackpot in Philippine history is P741 million in the PCSO Grand Lotto 6/55. If you won this amount, what would you do?

I asked my friends this question and almost everyone said that they’ll quit their job and retire, build their dream house, and travel around the world.

Then again, I asked – if you win the lottery, and excluding the celebration and things you’d do for charity, what would you do within the first week, first month and first year of becoming a lotto winner?

Now some said they’d first pay all their debts, then open time deposit accounts across several banks to “spread their money around”. After which, they’d invest in real estate or probably get a business franchise.

Not a bad plan I’d say. But, if it was me, then below would be my list of things to do after winning the lottery.

pinoy-lotto-winner

Keep quiet and hide my winning ticket in a secure place

You should wait a few weeks to at most, around two months before claiming your prize. That’s for the “buzz” to die down but more importantly, to plan. It’s a lot of money and once it’s in your hands, it can overwhelm you and lead you into making bad financial decisions.

Moreover, you also need to determine the people whom you can trust with the “secret” and help you plan ahead. Your immediate family is usually the default but do consider only choosing one or two.

Assemble “the team”

You’ll need three people – a financial planner, a lawyer and an accountant; preferably in that order. A registered financial planner who has experience with handling wealthy clients can point you in the right direction so you can protect (and grow) your money when it finally comes.

And together with your lawyer and accountant, you’ll have a team of competent advisers who can help you handle all the people who will–ask money from you, pitch investments and business ideas to you, claim to be your relative, and all the other “crazy” things that could happen if the truth about you comes out.

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Find a bank and claim the money

Together with your team, choose a bank where you can deposit your money. Ask about their “private banking services” and have a good grasp of the bank rules and regulations on this. When all is set, then it’s time for you to claim your money.

Hopefully by this time, it’s already been around a month or so when you screamed and jumped up and down inside your room. And depending on what you and your financial planner has agreed upon, you may claim the lump sum or just get annuities for your prize.

Get ready for a life-changing experience

Lastly, it’s time for you to have that life-changing experience of winning the lottery. Remember to always consult your team before making any big decisions with your money. But also, learn and increase your financial literacy. You have all the time in the world now to learn so you actually have no excuses.

Remember that there have been countless lottery winners who have lost all their winnings. Don’t be one of them. Learn how to invest and make your money last for generations.

Some advice from previous lotto winners I’ve read online:

  • Save some. Spend some. Give some.
  • Don’t change, or take steps to guard against change. Your priorities and values got you this far, they’ll see you through.
  • Enjoy the moment, the day, the month, the year. Do not move or try to live outside your comfort zone immediately. Such as upgrading your lifestyle drastically.

How about you? What would you do if you win the lottery?

Related article: How To Increase Your Chances of Winning the Lotto

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13 Responses to “What To Do If You Win The Lottery”


  1. Nice post bro. Me? I’d probably give most away, keep just enough for the family. But I don’t think I will win the lotto since I don’t buy lotto tickets anymore, haha! Lotto is for those who don’t understand math. 😉

  2. ceemee says:

    Such a huge amount! Is it wise to put it into insurances too?

  3. wow! If I win, I don’t think I’d be able to wait for months before claiming my prize. hehehe

    Maybe I’d ask PCSO to break it down into smaller amounts so the banks wouldn’t right away notice the sudden influx of cash into my account.

  4. Andrzej says:

    Interesting question. I would give some to my fav charities (WOSP and Maltesers) but not as a one time money but to start something more from that.

    Then I would invest most of it for long term and gathered my friends for around the world trip and asked them to create a think tank – all expenses payed 🙂

  5. CT says:

    Well for me I will also do the things you said earlier Fitz, but just in case I will also ask for a certification from PCSO proving that I won the lottery and BIR does not have the right to get involve with my winnings.. =) I will save, spend and give to charity just to be balance..Thank the Lord for the blessings.. And maybe I will hire you to be my financial planner if you are interested bro hehe =)

  6. Sandra says:

    Thanks for an interesting & informative article. Do you know (if so, will you tell?!) what taxes might be due on a million $$$? That way I will know what actual amount to plan for!

  7. Wren says:

    I think I’d claim my winnings right away and then sit on the first check for a week to a month. Here in the US if you don’t claim your winnings the jackpot keeps going and somebody else could win in the meantime!

  8. Like Money Magnets, I don’t think I can keep that huge secret to myself for one month! Thank you for reminding me and fellow future Lotto winners about how to act after winning the jackpot. Tining ko mahihimatay ako nun, hahaha..

  9. juan says:

    if I won?

    1. Get important personal documents from house.
    2. Get your close relatives. Claim ticket.
    3. Bank it. Get some cash at hand.
    4. Book on a hotel under different name
    5. Migrate to a safe place. Preferably somewhere in Europe / New Zealand, or anywhere else but the Philippines.

  10. CT says:

    Well, One very lucky winner of Lotto worth P700Mil plus should be reading this article now! =)

  11. Jerrick says:

    i wish to use half of it to charity. Help people will feel happy for the entire life.
    Other save in the bank and and the interest will more than enough for us to eat whole life.

    but i i would be the selfish person,
    i will use all that money to spend on travel and buying franchise to do business.

  12. Pick 3 Free says:

    Good article. I think that people don’t know what to do and how to behave when they win the lottery. The most important is to be quiet and hide your winning ticket in a secure place. It is good tactic to wait a few weeks to 2 months before claiming the prize. Not only to wait for the “buzz” to die down but more importantly, to plan. It’s a lot of money and it can overwhelm you and lead you into making bad financial decisions.

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