If you have ever thought about winning the lotto, your first thought will likely go straight to what you can spend your winnings on, right? However, there are a couple of other considerations you should have which will not have crossed your mind, particularly if you are playing lottery games from abroad. What are they, and why are these things so important? In this guide, we will reveal all in our “What If I Win the Lottery?” guide.
Before You Win…
You must do a little homework, long before you land a win playing lottery games online. For instance, it would be a nightmare if you were to win a multi-million-dollar prize but could not claim it because of a few niggly terms and conditions.
First, you are going to want to know how your lottery website pays out its players. Does it do so with a lump sum? Perhaps it pays out sizeable winnings in annuity payments? It is essential that you figure out how this happens so that one the day you win (fingers crossed) you will not be surprised or left hanging.
The exact process of getting paid varies from site to site. Some sites may also take a cut (although most do not), so it is essential that you look at these terms and conditions before you sign up to play, and certainly before you win anything substantial.
When you Win
If you do land a substantial win, one of the first things you must do (or not do, as it were) ensures that you do not tell anyone. You need to verify that your ticket is good, and you need your lottery agent to confirm that you have won with the lottery in question. Until everything is official, you could be setting yourself up for disappointment. Moreover, many people will start bombarding you with “favours” if you let the cat out of the bag too early.
Speak to a Financial Advisor
After your win is confirmed, it is ideal if you speak to a financial advisor. They can explain how your life is going to change and what you need to do to prepare for it. On top of that, they may also provide you with advice on what to spend, how to invest and more. Again, you should not make your win public quite yet, and you will likely be hassled by many other financial advisors eager to get you to invest. Some of these will undoubtedly be scammers.
Those Tax Consequences
As well as seeing a financial advisor, lottery winners often book appointments with tax lawyers. You should, too. After all, you can afford it now. Tax lawyers will be able to tell you all about gambling taxes (if any) in your country, whether or not you are going to be liable to pay income tax on your winnings, and what kinds of taxes you’re looking at if you earn interest on your prize. This is arguably one of the most important steps you can take.
Know Your Obligations
You should be aware that some lotteries have different requirements and obligations than others. For instance, most major lotteries do give you the right to remain anonymous. This is something many players take advantage of – a rare few, do not.
But there is more to consider than whether a lottery gives you anonymity. After all, you are playing via a lottery betting site. It is understandable that the lottery betting site will want you to do a bit of publicity for them. They can use this to attract more players. You might even have read tales from other winners which convinced you to join that site in the first place.
It is always worth checking out if you have any obligations to the lottery betting site or the lottery itself. Again, you should do this before you decide to play and win.
On top of that, you may have obligations in the country you live in. Even if you do not have to pay any gambling tax or income tax on your winnings, you may still need to declare your win. Some countries have specific forms for declaring winnings from gambling, and this is worth noting before you decide to play, too.
Getting Hold of Your Winnings
Regardless of whether you win an astronomical lottery jackpot prize or just a handful of Rupees, you will still want to be paid your winnings. If you win small sums (and it is up to you to decide what small sums are), you can opt to leave your winnings in your account. Your lottery betting site will pay out your winnings to your wallet in most cases, and you can reinvest them on further lottery tickets, or play side-games as you see fit.
If you do wish to cash out your winnings, you will likely need to go through a KYC (know your customer) process to verify your account. This involves handed over details to the betting site, which confirms that you are indeed you and that you are not playing with something else’s identity or money. It is a straightforward process.
Whatever you win, the lottery will almost certainly want to pay out your winnings to a bank account. Smaller wins can be paid out via the same method you deposited with. Expect a couple of days (up to a week) for your winnings to arrive once the lottery betting site has approved them. The process of clarifying those winnings and confirming them (known as a pending period) can take a few days itself. Either way, customer support will likely be in touch with you every step of the way to ensure that you are kept in the loop.
As you can see, there are more than a few things to consider chewing over before you wager on online lotteries. Make a note of what we have said, and there will be little that can surprise you, save for the big win itself.