You must have been wondering what should I do if I win the lottery? What steps am I to take before and after I have won the lottery. These are questions everyone needs to understand while playing the lottery as it would help you avoid some difficulties both physically, mentally, and emotionally.We would be discussing in this article how you can deal with winning the lottery, the necessary steps you need to take before and after winning the lottery.We would take them in order of before and after. Ensure, you take every step seriously now because when you eventually win the Jackpot or cash prize you might be overwhelmed to take and apply these steps.And just in case you have won the Jackpot or Cash prize, you can still follow these steps closely. STEPS TO TAKE WHEN YOU WIN THE LOTTERYThe following are steps to take if and when you win the lottery:STEP 1: Keep and Protect Your Ticket Safe The first step to do when you notice you have won the lottery is to keep and protect the lottery ticket in a safe place. As much as possible, where someone won’t find it or you could take it to the bank to save.Protecting and keeping your winning ticket would save you from so many things that could hinder you from not receiving your jackpot or cash prize.However, when trying to keep your ticket safe, make sure it’s somewhere you can easily remember and you are sure nothing would harm it there, even rats (smiles). Because at this point everything and everyone is assumed to be up against you. Once you have determined where is safe enough to keep your lottery ticket, you would then need to follow the next step closely.STEP 2: Carefully Read All the InstructionsThe next step you would need to do after determining you have won the lottery and before keeping the ticket safe is to read the instructions carefully.What instructions are you to read, you might ask?Well, many lottery programs or games have guidelines, terms, and conditions when a type of lottery is won. And it is best to understand any of their instructions, guidelines or terms and conditions. So, your mind would be fully prepared and know what you’re up against.You can find these instructions on the lottery ticket itself or the ticket agency website or both.That’s why it’s important to carefully read through.Some things you can do are Sign your name on the back of the ticket unless the rules forbid it or unless this would stop you from forming a blind trust to accept the money on your behalf.Make several photocopies of the front and back of your ticket, and deposit the original in a safety deposit box in a reputable bank. (Which brings us back to Step 1, keeping your ticket safe).Once this is done, we would then move to the next stage, and this stage applies to Step 1 and Step 2.STEP 3: Try to Keep QuiteYou have won the lottery cash prize, you are happy, you want to relate with someone. Our advice is…Keep Quite for the time being!Do not tell anyone about your win until you have actually collected the money. Well, you might say why shouldn’t I tell anyone, what about my family at least?Well, not every family is the same, for some, trouble comes in when it’s about money, that’s why we advise remaining silent, just as any legal person might tell you.But if you have to, you must tell only your family members and encourage them to keep it safe till when the money has been received or they should keep it safe even after the money has been received.But overall, try to remain quiet as possible. Whatever the Cash prize is, it’s something that would change your life for good and you definitely would be overwhelmed. What you need to do is to take a deep breath, relax, and don’t blabber. You want to keep your privacy as long as possible.STEP 4: CONTACT A LAWYER IMMEDIATELYWhen you win the jackpot, it is necessary to contact a lawyer, this is because you would need someone to guide you on legal issues.A lawyer would be able to help with some of the points highlighted in this blog and in the case of dividing your winnings and keeping bank accounts, a lawyer would effortlessly guide you through so you don’t fall into legal pitfalls.You need to contact a lawyer or your lawyer once you have won the jackpot, that is before you receive your lottery case prize.STEP 5: REMAIN ANONYMOUS AS POSSIBLEYour privacy is key! Once people know you have won the huge lottery cash prize, they would begin flooding over ranging from your family members to your friends. Even “financial experts” would be on the look for your business to propose financially.There would be a lot of activities going on in your life where people would suddenly want to be your friend, do business with you, and to collect some money.Remember, you would be approached by various media houses, TV stations, Radio stations, Online Video,, and Blog Channels would all want to talk about you for FREE!So it’s up to you, to determine if you want to remain anonymous or want to be treated like a celebrity.It is best to remain anonymous because you could easily be carried away with the current fame and might not know how to deal with it properly.However, it also depends on the lottery brand, game, or state you played from. Why so?Some lottery brand or game requires you to present yourself as a winner, even if it’s just your name. While some would allow you to remain anonymous.So try to determine if the game allows you to remain anonymous and if so, we suggest you remain really anonymous as possible.STEP 6: CONSIDER TAX BY HIRING A TAX PRODepending on the lottery game, by winning the jackpot for popular lottery games in the world, it requires you to pay tax.You need to consider this before collecting your lottery cash prize as it enables you to understand and determine what kind of payout you would settle with. You should consider hiring a tax pro to put you through.Most lottery games offer two forms of payment which are taking the payment all at once or get paid on 30 Installmentals over the period of 29 years in the form of an annuity.So, if you decide to get paid at once which is called a lump sum payment then, for the lump-sum payment you would need to immediately pay tax on the entire amount.While, if you decide to go for the installment payment, then, with an annuity, you are taxed only when you receive the payment.You have 60 days from the time you claim your lottery prize to weigh the pros and cons. During this time, ask advisors to crunch the numbers and help you decide which type of payment suits you best.Ensure within this period you get a tax pro to assist you in deciding what form of tax is best for you and it’s pros and cons.STEP 7: FORM A PARTNERSHIP IF TICKETS WERE JOINTLY PURCHASED Was the lottery ticket played and bought by more than one person?If that’s the case of more that one person, then an agreement needs to made amongst the group of people who jointly purchased the lottery game.Why is this joint agreement necessary?This is to help the group plan effectively how the money would be received and shared among themselves.If you have won the lottery purchased by a group you are in, these are things to consider:Was there a verbal or written agreement?Can it be enforced under state law?Understanding this would help to create Legal partnerships which would help in determining how the money would be received and how much would be shared among the group.STEP 8: AVOID EXTRAVAGANT LIFESTYLE CHANGEOnce you have won the lottery cash prize, your adrenaline pumps up and you want to spend carelessly might set in.Just like what Robert Pagliarini, a financial adviser, said, that taking “a very deep breath” should be the first thing you do if you win a large jackpot”You need to take a deep breath and ensure you calculate how much needs to be spent and on what. And then figuring out if those things are necessary. One way to do so is to hire Financial advisers such as Robert who could guide you on how to manage your funds.Your lifestyle would definitely change no doubt, but make sure not to overspend as you can go from a million dollars to zero dollars.Just like the example of One winner in Canada, Sharon Tirabassi, who spent most of her $10 million jackpot on extravagant homes, cars, designer clothes, parties, vacations, and handouts to family and friends. Within a decade, she was riding the bus again to her part-time job and renting a house.So, try to avoid overspending once you win the lottery.STEP 9: GIFT TO FAMILY AND FRIENDSYou just won the lottery prize and you definitely are happy but then you don’t want bad blood around you, this means, you don’t want close families or friends hating on you just because you won the lottery game.Try to gift family and friends in any way you can as this helps to bring unity and no “bad blood” around.This is not a “most to do” but considering as humans, you could actually help family and friends especially if you had hit the jackpot prize.Also while considering to gift family and friends, you can also gift to “Charity Organizations”When gifting to a charity organization, ensure your gift to a charity organization that you feel strongly about and that they are in need.Also, ensure that this organization has work that is reputable and wasn’t invented yesterday.Lastly, when gifting to some family members and friends and mostly charity organization, ensure they sign a confidentiality agreement. This prevents them from revealing the disclosure of your gifts for at least 5 years.This applies mostly to charity organizations.STEP 10: KEEP A LOW PROFILEAfter you have won and collected your lottery prize, it would be best to keep a low profile so as to avoid the unnecessary events that follow up.Keep your old friends since you trust them already and avoid drawing attention to yourself either by being too attractive.STEP 11: SPEND WISELYOnce you have won the lottery case prize, you might be tempted to want to spend on anything or any idea that comes your way.Make sure to sit and calculate what needs to spend on based on their importance and try not to jump into conclusions on ideas that are quickly formed in your mind.One way to restrain yourself is to only spend income not principal.So try to discipline yourself to spend wisely even if it’s on a project.STEP 12: PAY OFF ALL YOUR DEBTThe next thing to do after winning the lottery game is to pay off all your debt. You don’t want to nurture the habit of not paying debts, so one way to do so is to pay off your existing debts.There is no better investment than paying off debts.STEP 13: INVEST, INVEST, INVESTYou need money to make money and the only way to do so is by investing.As much as you can, invest in reasonable and fruitful businesses. It’s best to invest than to spend extravagantly because such money you would invest will later make more money for you.If you are not sure of what you need to invest in, get help from advisors that would guide you on investment opportunities to partake in.And lastly, as much as you might need to invest, don’t fall for investments that you don’t understand or that sound good to be true.STEP 14: BUY SMARTYou have enough money to buy certain things you have been dreaming of, such as houses, cars, ranch, private islands and lots more.But before buying those things you have always wished for, think about these; How much will property taxes be? How much would utilities be? How much will I spend on upkeep?Consider those questions before making any form of purchase. Even when purchasing cars, for example, understand that expensive cars tend to lose their value by half once it has been driven and they require expensive maintenance.Putting all these into consideration would help you make smarter decisions on what to buy and what is involved after purchasing.So, in as much as you might need to buy certain things, buy smartly!STEP 15: TAKE STEPS TO PROTECT ASSETSYou need to note that once you win the large sum of the jackpot cash prize, there would be lots of people (creditors) looking to take away your assets.People would go to the extent of laying in front of your car so you can run them over and then they can sue you.It could be your ex-husband or ex-wife who would also try to win a lawsuit against you so as to gain your assets. Applies also to disgruntled spouses.So, what you need to do is to take steps to protect your assets by creating a variety of roadblocks to block people from trying to reach your money and property.Enquire from an advisor or expert on how you can successfully protect your assets.CONCLUSIONYou have seen what you need to do if you win the lottery. These steps are to be taken seriously as some have gotten bankrupt by not following the steps above.As much as we have listed steps to take when you win the lottery, it is very important to also take advice from lawyers and financial experts.If you have won any lottery prize, let us know your experience in the comment section the steps you took, and also if you are yet to win the lottery cash prize, let us know in the comment section, the plans you have when you eventually win.