After the surprise and excitement of winning the lottery, many ticket holders forget to do something essential. Experts say that a surprising number of winners fail to sign the back of their lottery ticket, a small but potentially costly oversight. Lottery payments are made to the person who presents the winning ticket — with proper identification — and unfortunately, proving ownership of an unsigned lottery ticket may be difficult.
Many lottery winners sign up for a structured settlement annuity; structured settlements pay increasing dividends over the course of 30 years. While the prospect of avoiding taxes can be appealing, structured settlements may not provide lottery winners with enough ready cash for larger purchases, charitable donations, or investments. Companies that buy structured settlement annuity benefits may be able to help their clients decide between lump sum and annuity payouts.
Once you sell your structured settlements, experts advise paying off all credit card and educational debt. Most Americans carry more than three credit cards and report that they pay almost $7,000 a year in interest alone. Companies that are interested in purchasing structured settlements realize that buying a car, owning a home, and fulfilling educational goals are important to their potential clients.
Some states allow lottery winners to remain anonymous, realizing that ticket holders may be reluctant to publicly claim larger prizes. Once winners come forward, experts advise contracting with financial experts on a regular basis for a period of several years or longer. Selling lottery payments may be a viable option for lottery winners who find their structured settlement annuity benefits are limiting their financial options and opportunities.
There is a wealth of information on television and on the internet about what to do when you win the lottery, but many lottery winners do not realize that they can sell annuity payments for a lump sum. If the goal is to sell your structured settlements, finding a reliable company that has experience working with lottery winners is essential. Some experts say that investing a lump sum payout can be more profitable in the long term than a fixed annuity.
In general, lottery winners should be looking for investments that pay out 4% or higher, experts say. Stocks and bonds can be profitable in a mixed investment portfolio, but lottery winners may wish to consult with financial experts after selling structured settlement payments. If you choose to sell your structured settlements, striking the right balance between investment and charitable giving can help lottery winners ensure that their jackpots continue to pay dividends for the rest of their lives.