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What If You Won The Lottery?
What Would Happen if You became very rich by winning the National Lottery jackpot, or the Football Pools, or by some other means you became rich, suddenly and surprisingly?
The dream remains the same: You win The National Lottery, possibly on a rollover week, or you win the Football Pools, and one way or other you suddenly find your life is transformed. Now you might say to yourself, "It won't change me; I won't do anything different", but the fact is that you'll be living versus a different backdrop, and therefore some things may need to be re-evaluated, and therefore change is likely.
For one thing, if you suddenly became a multi-millionaire, you would not need to go to work. Of course may still choose to go to work, but it would be a free choice, rather than having to go to work for economic reasons. No longer would you have to go to work for such reasons as having to a pay for the mortgage, needing the money to buy food to help with the cost of living, needing the money to avoid running out of fuel, etc, such things cease to be a problem. However, if you choose to go to work, being a Lottery winner or a Pools winner, it's up to you.
Another thing is that you will receive begging letters. It's exceptionally hard to keep it a secret that you have become immensely rich, and people will start to guess something has financially changed. Once the word gets out, it is news, and then everyone knows. Of course you might have a policy of just ignoring all begging letters, but it's something you've got to have a policy on, whereas at present you generally don't have to worry about such things as begging letters at all.
If you become very rich, your risk profile becomes different. You may need better security. You may need to move house and set up home somewhere safer and more exotic. For a guide to places that are both exotic and safe, see tax havens. Also see choosing a country to live in
If you have children, it will affect them. They'll need to be safeguarded against risks such as kidnapping. Also, their education career choices will most likely be changed. Do you see what I mean about the change of backdrop against which things in life are measured?
Then there's the big question such as how you'll cope with the money. What will you buy? Are you going to have a sensible policy on saving money so you make even more money and remain rich even if you spend money, or are you going to fritter it all away? Or, are you going to have a sensible policy on spending a good proportion of the amount of interest which the fortune you have won will earn for you?
This question matters because of a well-known but little-understood fact about having a fortune: Money makes money. Millions of pounds (or dollars, euros etc), in a savings account or other investment, brings in a lot of money in interest payments each week. A Lotto rollover jackpot brings in more money each week than a person working very hard in a well-paid job, and that's even before you start spending any of the original capital.
Talking about spending money, this is a subject which you may wish to consider when thinking about your prospective big win. What are you going to buy? There are a few things that are obvious to many: A bigger home, a fancy car, a yacht, a pool, some champagne. However, when you think about it carefully, there are some things about your buying power and your potential choices of items to buy. You can only wear one pair of shoes at a time, and there are various things that have that sort of mode of buying potential. There are also some things which you can spend an indefinitely large amount on. For example, if you decide that you'd like to have a boat, you will have to consider how much you would like to spend versus how much you've got, as boats can cost however much you have and more. There are various things which even the wealthiest lottery-winners can't afford. The win is not infinitely big.
So, management of your money becomes even more important than it used to be before you won.
Being a Lottery winner puts you into a new world of choices, as the range of choices increases markedly with the amount of money that you have.
Anyway, Good Luck!
Here's a helpful connection to The UK National Lottery. (Other gambling exists).
Update: Late2011, the National Lottery Euromillions company has also spotted this line of thought, and so now they have Hector Riva, a millionaire character in the TV ads, to get you to aspire to winning the Lottery and create your own ideas of what you'd do if you won.