The very first thing you should do if you win the $800 million Powerball
But hold your horses.
One important piece of advice for lotto winners has nothing to do with spending.
According to this hall of fame Reddit post, the first step to take if you find out you won the lottery is this:
Do absolutely nothing.
Don’t even declare yourself as the winner. Tell no one — resist from texting or calling a single person you know.
After you’ve regained composure and made sure not to spill the beans, the next item on your to-do list is hire an attorney. “Get a partner from a larger, NATIONAL firm,” Reddit user BlakeClass says. “Don’t let them pawn off junior partners or associates on you. They might try, all law firms might, but insist instead that your lead be a partner who has been with the firm for awhile.”
Step two? Claim the winnings and take the lump sum. The lottery allows winners to choose either a large, one-time payment upfront, or a lifetime of smaller annuities. According to BlakeClass, winner’s should accept that they’re going to take a hit of at least 50% of the total jackpot in taxes, but this is the best way to go.
From here, the rest of the steps follow relatively standard advice regarding investments and responsible spending. Bonus anecdotes from BlakeClass includes lots of horror stories from past winners and their terrible current circumstances. Read up the full (and lengthy) advice from BlakeClass on Reddit. The steps include divvying up the money among family members into locked funds, investing in the S&P 500 and the US treasuries.
As one fellow Redditor aptly responded: ” That was the most useful thing I’ve ever read on how to do something that I will never do.”
This hall of fame Reddit post lays it all out. You're gonna need to lawyer-up.