Daydream of winning the lottery? Best have a plan

OK, so the odds are millions to one, but it does happen. People who do the lottery become millionaires or even multi-millionaires.

And it’s clear that there are plenty of folk out there who believe they could win – or at least would really like to win. According to Camelot, one in every four of us spend an average of £20 per week on the National Lottery alone. That doesn’t include what people spend on the Euro Lottery. £20 a week! That’s over a grand a year.

But have you ever REALLY thought about what it would look like to win that kind of money over night? If not, here are a few things to consider, when you next buy your lottery ticket. This may seem a bit pie in the sky, but if you believe enough to buy the ticket, you should believe enough to have a plan.

How much is enough?

The key to enjoying and really making the most of your lottery win is to think about how much money you really need for it to make a positive impact on your life. I can hear the groans from here – talk about taking the joy out of a daydream, but bear with me. Think about what you’d really want to do with the money – dream family holiday, buy a bigger home (or pay off the mortgage), give certain amounts to the kids, charities etc, never work again. Add that up and see what’s left.

With the remaining amount, take sound financial advice to help this money go further for you. It’s about making sure that this lottery money is genuinely life-changing for the better and for the long term. You really don’t want to end up just another lottery winner bankruptcy story.

Keep quiet about it

That said, the best advice we can actually give you, if you were to become a millionaire winner on the lottery, is – don’t tell anyone! Of course this is not what the lottery organisers want. They want you to shout about it to help them spread the ‘it could be you’ message. They will even pay you a substantial bonus, if you do declare it publicly, so keen are they to get you to announce your win.

But think of the extra – unwanted – attention this would bring, all the people who will suddenly be your friends. You know those thousands of Facebook ‘friends’ and Instagram and TikTok followers you are so proud of? Think about how many of them may now come knocking. And then there will be all the businesses looking for investment and the charities looking for donations.

Maybe you’ll be able to manage knocking them back, but how would you feel if it was family and close friends who started asking for money? For many, it will be a joy to spend money on loved ones – paying off a chunk of a child’s mortgage or paying for your granny to go on her dream cruise. But where do you draw the line? An uncle who has a failing business. A friend of a friend who desperately needs medical help.

The moral judgements you may have to make can weigh heavy and if you’re not careful, you can quickly make pretty hefty dents in your new found millions….which brings us full circle back to the importance of having a plan.