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How to Manage Winnings From the Official Lottery

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The official lottery is a form of gambling in which people purchase chances to win cash or goods by selecting numbers. There are a variety of lotteries in existence, including state-government-owned and privately operated ones. Some operate nationwide while others have more limited geographic footprints. In the United States, there are 48 state-run lotteries, each with its own rules and regulations. Several lotteries are owned by consortiums of states that cooperate to offer games with larger jackpots.

Many scammers contact lottery winners using official-sounding names that look like a real agency, according to the FTC. They also try to persuade you to send money or share personal information. This is known as phishing, and it allows fraudsters to steal your identity and financial information to sell on the dark web. In addition to stealing your money, these scams can damage your reputation. They can even result in criminal charges and civil penalties.

While winning the lottery is a huge life event, it can also be challenging. It can change your life in many ways, so it’s important to be prepared for the unexpected. The following tips can help you manage your newfound wealth:

1. Make a budget.

If you’re a winner, be sure to budget your prize money to help you plan for the future. It’s easy to spend all your winnings at once, and a little planning can help you avoid that. Creating a budget can also help you stay organized and keep track of your spending.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

A lot of lottery winners find themselves overwhelmed after winning a large prize, and they often turn to family and friends for assistance. Some have even turned to their church, according to The Wall Street Journal. This is a great way to find support, but be sure to do your research first. There are a lot of scammers out there, and you may end up getting burned.

3. Don’t forget about taxes.

It’s important to pay attention to the tax laws in your state or country before deciding how to use your winnings. In the US, you’ll have to pay federal and state taxes on your winnings, as well as local taxes in some jurisdictions. It’s a good idea to consult with a tax attorney before you make any big decisions.

4. Don’t let jealousy ruin your luck.

Some lottery winners are the victim of unwarranted jealousy from their coworkers or relatives after winning a big jackpot. For example, one construction worker quit his job after winning the lottery and lied to his boss that he needed foot surgery, reports The New York Times. The boss then fired him and his wife, which caused the couple to file for divorce. Another example is the case of Ibi Roncaioli, a Canadian woman who won a $5 million Lotto 6/49 jackpot in 1991 and was murdered by her husband after squandering her winnings on expensive gifts.

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