What should you do if you win 640 million dollars?
• Protect the ticket! Take the time to study the ticket and understand the rules and procedures. After reading the ticket, make sure to sign the back of it (if the rules allow). At this point you will want to make a few copies of the ticket, and secure the original in a safe place. Whatever you do, don’t lose the ticket!
• Take a deep breath. Take at least a week or more to contact the lottery officials. Most lotteries will allow you to wait at least 180 days. Waiting will allow you to accomplish a few things, one of which is assembling a financial team to help you manage your winnings. Doing this before getting your money is essential in order to help you maximize your winnings and handle it in the wisest way possible.
• Buy some life insurance. With all of your winnings, you may not see the need to purchase any life insurance. But if you were to pass away, the estate tax bill could be quite considerable. If your money is immediately tied up in annuities or other investments, it could be difficult for your family to pay the tax bill. Many people buy a Maine life insurance policy to cover the estate tax bill.
• Make your lifestyle changes slowly. You might be ready to buy a new car, purchase a new house, and quit your job, but take your time with many of these decisions. It’s also a good idea to test before you buy. For example, if you had your heart set on a brand new yacht, why not rent for a week or two rather than drop $20 million on a new yacht only to find out that you don’t like it!
• Learn to say no. You will probably have to opportunity to financially help family members and charities, and this is completely fine and noble. But at some point you will have to say no to the hordes of people that want your money! Having a predetermined “giving plan” in place could help you with responding to financial requests from others.
• Rely on your Financial Team. Most people cannot do it on their own. Don McNay, author of the book "Son of a Son of a Gambler: Winners, Losers and What to Do When You Win the Lottery," says nine out of 10 winners go through their money in five years or less. "It's too much, too fast," he says. "Nobody is around them putting the brakes on the situation."
Purchasing Maine life insurance and these five other steps are only a part of the picture though. For a more detailed article on how to handle so much money, Forbes has an excellent article entitled, 10 Things To Do When You Win The Lottery