How To Manage Life After Winning The Lottery

By Jesse Veluz

Happy Irish Lottery winner

If you think winning the lottery will be the answer to all of your problems — think again. Winning the lottery may seem glamorous, but acquiring sudden wealth can only be the start of a change in your lifestyle for the worse.

Suddenly becoming wealthy can be harmful to your relationships, and may compromise your ideal thought of what happiness really is, if you don't manage your winnings properly. If you don't want your name to end up in the list of lottery winners who regretted winning the lottery, then read on and find out how you can manage life after winning the lottery.

Woman hid her Lotto win from husband and quickly divorced him. Judge says she must let him have all $1.3 million. Superior Court Judge Richard Denner determined that she acted out of fraud or malice. He based his decision on a deposition in which Denise Rossi admitted that she concealed her winnings because she didn't want her ex-husband "getting his hands on" them.

Read more: Ex-Wife Loses Big in This Game of Chance

There are lots of examples in which the lotto winners acted out of ignorance, selfishness, and stupidity that cost them the winnings in a bad way, leaving them where they started in the first place. Only this time, they'll be smarting from self-inflicted pain of not managing their lotto winnings properly their whole lives.

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First year of winning the lottery shows signs of happiness

The National Endowment for Financial Education cautions those who receive a financial windfall to plan for their psychological needs as well as their financial strategies. The Denver-based nonprofit estimates that as many as 70 percent of people who land sudden windfalls lose that money within several years.
Read more: DailyFinance

several years later - lottery winners lose their money

Michael Carroll has blown a £9.7 million jackpot he won in 2002 (approximately $15 million at the time) and as of 2010, was hoping to get his old job back as a garbageman. At first, Carroll lavished gifts on friends and family, but soon started spending on less admirable causes: Cocaine, parties, cars, and, at one point, up to four prostitutes a day. "The party has ended," he told the UK's Daily Mail, "and it's back to reality. That's the way I like it. I find it easier to live off £42 dole than a million."

In the two weeks after Mr. Post collected the first of his 26 annual payments of $497,953.47, he spent more than $300,000. He acquired a liquor license, a lease on a Florida restaurant for his brother and sister, and a used-car lot and its fleet for another brother. He also bought a twin-engine plane, although he did not have a pilot's license. Within three months, he was $500,000 in debt.

Read more: TheWeek, WashingtonPost, TheRichest, Business Insiders, Toronto Sun

Expert Says

"The reason so many people lose their sudden wealth so quickly is not because they make bad financial decisions, it's because they make emotional decisions that, more often than not, are bad financial decisions."

Robert Pagliarini

Robert Pagliarini, CFP, EA
Pacifica Wealth Advisors, Inc.

Author of:
The Sudden Wealth Solution: 12 Principles to Transform Sudden Wealth Into Lasting Wealth

Up to 90% of sudden wealth is lost according to research. Why? What makes sudden wealth so different and so fleeting for so many people? And more importantly, how can you avoid the unforeseen dangers and mistakes even the most money-smart and sophisticated people often make?

Sudden wealth is a roller coaster ride of emotions – from the highest highs to the lowest lows. Whether you Win the lottery, get money from a lawsuit, or get an inheritance -- or sudden wealth in general -- is often portrayed as creating dire consequences for its recipients, but it can be an amazing opportunity that improves your life and those around you.

I've worked with enough sudden wealth clients over the years to see patterns – what works and what doesn't. I just published a book called The Sudden Wealth Solution: 12 Principles to Transform Sudden Wealth Into Lasting Wealth. With proper guidance and a willingness to stick to these 12 Principles, you can avoid the common pitfalls that so often destroy money, and instead transform your sudden wealth into lasting wealth to create a better life for yourself and others.

Here are the 12 principles:

take control - If you don't have a plan for your wealth, someone else will.
Slow Down -- Know which decisions you need to make and which you can delay.
Get Help -- Learn how to build your advisory team with experts you can trust.
Upgrade Money Beliefs -- Discard limiting money beliefs that will undermine your success.
Manage Relationships -- How to keep your most important relationships.
Say No -- Learn strategies to reduce the onslaught of money requests.
Help the Right Way -- Support friends and family correctly.
Create a Better Life -- Use the money to create the best life possible.
Set Spending Limits -- Develop a system for staying in control of your spending.
Protect Wealth -- Learn how to protect your wealth.
Grow Wealth -- Learn strategies to grow your wealth.
Stay on Track -- Plug into an easy system to stay on track.

Sudden wealth can come from luck – such as from a lottery win – or from years of effort – such as from a business sale. It can come from a loss – such as an inheritance, divorce, or lawsuit settlement – or it can from a gain – such as from stock options or sports/entertainment contracts. Although the sources of sudden wealth are unique, they all share something in common. Many people who become responsible for a great deal of money overnight feel overwhelmed by the financial, legal, and tax decisions they face, confused as to what they should do, and a deep weight because of their new responsibility. They feel unprepared for the job and are unsure of who to trust.

While everyone focuses on the "wealth" in sudden wealth, it's often not about the money. The issues surrounding sudden wealth can be highly emotional and charged. The reason so many people lose their sudden wealth so quickly is not because they make bad financial decisions, it's because they make emotional decisions that, more often than not, are bad financial decisions. Why?

Sudden wealth will create problems you never even knew you could have, but it can also give you a voice. Money provides options and freedom. Money can give you the power to shape your life on your terms. It can purchase food, stability, security, shelter, education, and medicine.

There are a lot of things in life that you can prepare for, but getting more money than you've ever dreamed of overnight can turn even the most stable and grounded person's life upside down, because it's impossible to prepare for. You can imagine what the Grand Canyon will look like, but it's entirely different when the view takes your breath away as you are sitting on the edge looking down at it in real life.

Most of us experience gradual wealth – the accumulation of money over months, years, and even decades. If we've planned well, we have a portfolio we're responsible for overseeing and managing. This "nest egg" represents years of effort, sacrifice, and decisions. It has become our child. We nurture it. We do our best raising it. We may lose sleep worrying about it. As we watch it grow, we are also developing new skills and maturity to become a better parent. We also become more sophisticated in the other areas of our finances.

Early on, we may have been able to file our taxes with a simple 1040-EZ form, but then we graduate to TurboTax, and then to having an accountant prepare our taxes. We'll upgrade our insurance coverage over the years and hire an attorney to write our will and other estate documents. In short, we grow with our money. It's a gradual process that spans decades. We make more, we learn more. It's a gradual ride up.

If gradual wealth is a smooth escalator ride that can take decades to reach the top, sudden wealth is a rocket trip straight to the top in seconds. Your circumstances have changed overnight, and you've had no chance to adapt or to grow. To make matters more difficult, you're often forced to make immediate financial, legal, and tax decisions that can have permanent and dramatic consequences. Emotions run high and stress can get the best of you. And if that were not enough, we may feel pressure from those closest to us—our family and friends. They may offer support and encouragement or even offer advice, but they're often no better prepared for the situation than you are. Their support, if it is unwanted, can strain relationships, causing even more anxiety and stress on an already highly charged situation.

The wealthiest are not immune to life's challenges and setbacks. Sudden wealth will create problems you never even knew you could have, but it can also give you a voice. Money provides options and freedom. Money can give you the power to shape your life on your terms

With the onslaught of responsibility, anxiety, decisions, and strained relationships, we can make poor decisions, lash out at those we love, or freeze with uncertainty and paralysis. Although some people handle this rapid shift better than others, to many, the dream of a windfall can feel more like a nightmare.

But sudden wealth shouldn't be doom and gloom. Although it's often portrayed as creating dire consequences for its recipients, money can also provide freedom.

Sudden wealth can be the catalyst that helps you create a better life.

Sudden wealth isn't going to solve all of your problems. The truth is, everyone has problems, issues, and irritations. It doesn't matter who you are or how much money you have. The wealthiest are not immune to life's challenges and setbacks. Sudden wealth will create problems you never even knew you could have, but it can also give you a voice. Money provides options and freedom. Money can give you the power to shape your life on your terms. It can purchase food, stability, security, shelter, education, and medicine.

We are experts at living life by default. Our lifestyle is dictated by our finances. Our bank accounts set the bar for what we can do. But what happens when we receive sudden wealth and there is no longer a bar? When we can do whatever we want? This is why sudden wealth can feel so liberating but also so foreign. When you can do anything, what will you choose?

Sudden wealth can be an amazing opportunity that can give you the ability to pay off lingering debt, save for retirement, or even re-create the life of your dreams. For many, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity to start over – to erase some of the mistakes of their financial past and get back on track. This is the promise of following the 12 principles in The Sudden Wealth Solution – to help you transform sudden wealth into lasting wealth and to create a better life.

Why People Go Broke

Most people will have a difficult time adjusting to sudden wealth, especially if they were never used to having a lot of money in the first place. Some may even think that it'd be quite impossible to burn through a huge pile of money so quickly, but this is a psychological trap and the reason is far beyond that of poor money management skills.

test of self control

Many of us cling to the idea that if there's a pile of money deep enough, we'll never have to worry about hitting the bottom. Lottery winners prove us wrong...

Here's an experiment for you: Place a small bowl of M&Ms (or your fattening/sugary vice of choice) right within reach. Leave it there all day and then count how many you ate. Think that was a test of self-control? Now try putting a huge bowl in the same place. We'd venture to guess you'll end the day with as few left at the bottom as when you started out with less.

Indeed, it's hard to stop when it seems like you're hardly making a dent. That's because we tend to adjust our consumption based on what's available to us – and we aren't just talking about candy. Many people treat money the very same way.

The bigger the bowl, the more you eat. The same is true for money. The bigger the sum, the more indiscriminately you're likely to spend it, believing that if the pile is deep enough, you'll never have to worry about hitting the bottom. It's the same fantasy for those who struggle financially and come up short every month.

Whether you have an extra $10,000 or $10 million, the lesson is the same: If you dive in indiscriminately, it won't be long before you're scraping the bottom of the bowl. And whether you're rich or poor, that's one lesson worth at least a million bucks.


Read more: Riches to rags: Why most lottery winners end up broke

Winners are much more likely to make significant impulse purchases far beyond their previous means. So the purchase amounts will be much higher, making the interest accrued on those credit cards much higher. And because they don't stop to think the money could run out, winners don't generally think they need to create or live by a monthly budget.

- Scott Dillon, a senior bankruptcy attorney at Tully Rinckey in Albany, N.Y.

Read more: 5 reasons you don't really want to win all that lottery money

Expert Says

"Remember with the lottery, as with a money tree – enjoy the fruit, but preserve the tree, so that it can bear more fruit for you in the future."

Michael Kitces

Michael E. Kitces
Certified Financial Planner
Publisher, The Kitces Report

Winning the lottery is like finding a glorious tree – one that bears a fruit of money.

Regularly harvesting your money tree, and tending for it carefully, can provide you a tree that grows strong, bearing fruit for many years to come. But harvesting the tree too aggressively, or failing to take care of the tree altogether, can cause it to lose its fertility. And then there is no more fruit.

So remember with the lottery, as with a money tree – enjoy the fruit, but preserve the tree, so that it can bear more fruit for you in the future.

And whatever you do, don't celebrate finding the money tree by throwing a giant party and lighting a bonfire that burns the tree to the ground!

Manage Your Taxes Right After The Big Win

You've heard the news about lottery winners who successfully picked out the winning combination that quickly led them to become millionaires, but what happens once they realize that the tax bite takes more than half of their winnings? Dealing with taxes after a huge payout is at the bottom of any lottery winner's list but by assessing the financial situation with a realistic and charitable approach, any lottery winner can lessen the amount of taxes taken from their winnings. So get ready to become the world's ideal millionaire because the secret to keeping your winning payout of $500 million away from taxes is found by simply giving back to charities.

There is one thing that I can do to reduce the tax bite somewhat—I can give to charity which when I become a wealthy woman is something that I plan to do. So, when I win the lottery, the next thing I'm going to do is talk to a tax pro about how to give more to people who need it and less to taxes.

- Deborah Jacobs, Forbes Finance

Read more: Powerball: After Taxes, What’s Left?

Going Public About Your Windfall

Be careful to go public when you win the lottery

It pays to stay anonymous after winning the lottery as acquiring sudden wealth can be just as bad as it is good. Suddenly materializing your goal of becoming a millionaire can only be harmless if the winner remains to stay intact with their anonymity. Once you go public about your windfall, it'll only be a matter of time before you become the target of lawsuits filed by people who want a taste of your wealth—scammers, cons, swindlers, and the list goes on. It's one thing to celebrate with family and close friends, and another to celebrate with strangers who can possibly be vying with each other for a grab at your pockets.

The Dawes, who despite cohabiting and sharing the same surname are not yet married (though they plan to be soon), may have made their first mistake by announcing their success in public at a press conference. Like most people nowadays, they probably couldn't resist the chance to be famous and appear on television. But their celebrity will expose them to risks that anonymity would have spared them – floods of begging letters, for example. It will also generate resentment among friends and relations. In fact, it already has, for the Daily Mail has published interviews with Angela Dawes's ex-husband, John Leeman, and their teenage son Steven in which they made scurrilous allegations, accusing her of "abandoning" Steven. "She's talking about making 20 of her friends millionaires," Leeman said. "But what about her son?"

The Dawes' plan to bestow great riches on "anyone who has helped us through our life" may be well-intentioned, but it will probably anger more people than it pleases. Friends who are left out will feel they have been denied their just deserts. Dave Dawes said at the press conference that they would try to "do the right things" with their colossal fortune. But the "things" they have announced so far don't seem especially "right".

- Alexander Chancellor

Read more: Going public about it does guarantee you will lose friends

Although Mega Millions is a national lottery, rules on winner publicity vary by state. In New York, for example, winners' names are a public record. Elsewhere it may be possible to maintain your anonymity by setting up a trust or limited liability company to receive the winnings, says Beth C. Gamel, a CPA with Pillar Financial Advisors in Waltham, MA. A client of Gamel's who won a past lottery did that, and had a lawyer claim the prize on behalf of of the trust.

- Deborah L. Jacobs, Senior Editor at Forbes

Read more: 10 Things To Do When You Win The Lottery

Know How And When To Say NO

learn to say NO

A lot of lottery winners fail to protect themselves from people or organizations with their hands out, and family can especially be hard to turn down. Regardless, it's important to keep in mind that bankruptcy can easily creep up on you if you don’t have good financial planning. Always keep an eye on extended family and overzealous charities; they can financially drain you once you start giving in to their campaigns. Some winners have squandered their earnings because of generosity—the sudden attention one gets when they're identified as someone with high value can be tempting—but remember that no one has ever regretted saving their money.

After winning an $18 million lottery jackpot in 1993, Janite Lee's earnings were gone within a decade. The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports Lee, a wigmaker from South Korea, blew her winnings on, of all things, charity. A reading room was named after her at Washington University's law school, and she was a major donor for the Democratic Party. But her giving hand, coupled with a little gambling and a lot of credit card debt, allegedly did her in. She filed for bankruptcy in 2001.

Read more: Abraham Shakespeare, Billie Bob Harrell Jr., Janite Lee

Start a foundation. Maybe you've had someone ask you to help pay for a kidney operation or a donor sperm insemination procedure. And much as you'd like to, you just can't. If you have deep pockets, you could start a foundation. (Most experts suggest you'll need to start with at least $1 million.)

That's what Charles Crutchfield, a clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School, did. He says his brother, an attorney, came up with the idea.

"Now when people ask for money, I tell them, at the strict direction of my accountant, we have a special foundation that meets twice per year to review such requests. If they would like a detailed application to fill out and submit, we can have the request considered at the next review cycle," Crutchfield says. "This eliminates 90 percent of the requests, and the remaining 10 percent then can be reviewed and awarded if there is funding left, and they are deemed worthy."

Read more: How to Gracefully Turn Down Requests for Money

Rather than loan out money that you may never see again, offer alternative ideas. Sometimes you can take the borrowers' excuses away by providing alternatives that they can do besides borrowing money. For example, you could provide an opportunity to earn money rather than just lending or giving money. They could do yard work, house cleaning, car repairs, or other jobs you need done. This way you are at least getting something in return for the money you are giving them. You could also bring them a hot meal, some extra clothes, or give them a ride to work to help with transportation expenses. The point is, you don't have to give or lend money to help someone.

Read more: How to deal with family members who constantly ask for money

Expert Says

"My best advice is to take some money off the top to go immediately to your favorite charity! The next thing is to hire a financial advisor to help you invest the rest so that it can supplement your lifestyle … forever."

Neale Godfrey

Neale Godfrey
Chairman & President
Children's Financial Network, Inc.

Actually, many years ago, Oprah had me work with lottery winners who had won big prizes only to spend all of their money and actually go bankrupt.

As soon as you win, family and friends swarm around expecting you to give them money. I'm not saying that you shouldn't be generous, but you need to be careful.

First of all, take the lump sum payout option. Taxes will be taken out, so you need to look at that net number. My best advice is to take some money off the top to go immediately to your favorite charity! The next thing is to hire a financial advisor to help you invest the rest so that it can supplement your lifestyle … forever. Some should be put away for college for the kids and for your retirement. Do not go out and blow your winnings on that fancy car or boat.

Upgrade your life, but think of the winnings as a bonus for your life. You cannot imagine how fast the money can be spent.

"Welcome to the Millionaires' Club BUT . . . There's Great News, Bad News — and Even Worse News"

Mark Tier

Mark Tier
Writer and businessman
Founder, World Money Analyst

Author of:
The Winning Investments Habits of Warren Buffett & George Soros


You've just hit the jackpot.

You're going home today with €2 million or more in your wallet.

If you missed out on the first prize, and only picked up a few hundred thousand euros, don't feel too badly about.

Because the first thing you need to know about winning a lottery is:

It's Never Going to Happen to You Again.

This is it.

This is the only chance you've got. The only chance you'll ever get.

The only question is: will you make the most of it and live in luxury for the rest of your life?

Or will you be one of the 3 out of 4 lottery winners who are bankrupt within 5 years.

Michael Jackson: a Maker, not a Keeper. His lifetime earnings: over $500 million. But he died with $400 million in unpaid debts How? He spend $20 to $30 million a year more than he earned.


That's right.

About 65% of all people who win big money like you just have are poor in fifteen years or less.

Not just poor, but worse off than they were before they won the lottery.

How can that be possible!?

I know. This is the last thing you want to think about right now.

I'll bet you're figuring on heading down to the pub tonight and buying all your mates a round or ten of drinks.

Hey, you could even buy the pub itself.

Or stop by the jewellers to pick up that diamond necklace or the latest Louis Vuitton bag you've been coveting ever since it appeared in the store window.

And tomorrow, maybe you'll book that Caribbean cruise, round-world ticket (first class, of course), or try your luck in Monte Carlo, not to mention that Porsche, Bentley, or seaside weekender you've always lusted after.

Stop right there!

Because you've just answered the question of how people like you with sudden wealth end up bankrupt. Like you, the very first thing they did is blow a nice chunk of it.

Then they blow some more.

It all comes down to your Money Personality: are you a Spender, a Maker, or a Keeper?

Everybody knows how to spend money. None of us need lessons in how to do that.

Quite a few people make money.

But not everybody who knows how to make money knows how to keep it.

As the news of this windfall you've just received gets around, you're going to be surrounded by sharks. Aside from relatives and friends you never knew you had who suddenly need your help, you'll be hounded by financial advisers with spectacular schemes to double your money in no time at all.

When this happens, remember Will Rogers' sage advice: "The best way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket."

If you can't resist such requests and offers, and keep a lid on your own desires for instant gratification, you're a Spender.

Roger Griffiths won £2 million in Britain's National Lottery in 2003. Ten years later had just £7 to his name. £2 million to just seven quid?


Sure, €2 million seems like a helluva of money. But I'll bet if you sat down right now you could make a list of things you'd love to buy that would come to €2 million—if not more. First, there's that mansion on the hill . . .

I suggest that instead of heading down to the pub tonight, you go to the supermarket, buy two bottles of the most expensive champagne, and head for home. Then celebrate by thinking about how much better the rest of your life is going to be if you can:

1. Keep it, and
2. Make it grow.

"Die Rich" may seem like the crazy goal. Especially right now. But if you make that your aim, over the years to come you'll end up having MUCH more than €2 million to spend (though not all at once).

Get Some Advice From the Millionaire Teacher

How could anyone become a millionaire on a teacher's salary?

Andrew Hallam did. And his book, Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School, he tells how he did it—and how you can too.

As you've just become a millionaire, you've got a head start on Andrew Hallam. Except that he's still a millionaire. Grab his book and you'll learn how easy it really is to keep what you've just won.

While you're in the bookstore, pick up a copy of Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. You'll discover that the difference between the rich, the poor, and the middle class is not money in the bank. It's their Money Personalities.

Finally, add a copy of my own book, The Winning Investments Habits of Warren Buffett & George Soros.

Warren Buffett and George Soros are the world's two richest investors. Learning how they started with nothing and became billionaires in the markets will make it easy for you to tell whether any of those financial hustlers have what it takes—and say "No!" to those spurious "get rich" schemes that come your way.

No question. Having all that money in your back pocket is an absolutely wonderful feeling. But that feeling will only last while you keep it in your pocket.

You've just received manna from Heaven, and I implore you to treat it with the reverence it deserves.

How Lottery Affects Our Happiness

Happiness is extremely relative. A huge pile of money doesn't satisfy everyone, and despite the belief that it does, there has been countless of stories wherein lottery winners wished they had never won. Winning the lottery can open up doors that used to be closed, and that could virtually confuse you from what it is you truly desire. The winnings you get from the lottery can be what unites or divides you from actual satisfaction, contentment, or happiness. In addition, winning the lottery could be the experience you'll compare other experiences to. Derek Thompson said it best:

Happiness is relative. This fact (or theory, really, since happiness studies is a fluid science) explains all sorts of surprising observations, such as why poor countries are as happy as rich countries; why Americans aren't more joyous than we were 40 years ago, despite considerably more money and better technology; and why, after some time, paraplegics and people who go blind in middle-age report average levels of life satisfaction.

It also explains the downside of awesome experiences -- or what psychologists call peak experiences. "The good thing about peak experiences is that they make us happy while we are having them, but the bad thing is that they then serve as a standard of comparison for all the experiences that follow," Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert explained. "When researchers looked at lottery winners, they weren't happier than a control group, but they did take less pleasure in everyday events. The big happiness rush you get when you receive the big check is gone pretty soon, and then when good things happen you find yourself saying, 'That was nice but it wasn't like the day I won the lottery.'"

- Derek Thompson

Read more: The Economic Case Against Winning a $500 Million Lottery (Seriously)

How To Buy Happiness

how to buy happiness

Money can buy happiness, as opposed to the popular saying that it can't. Splurging on yourself, buying what you truly want, can make anyone feel good. But more importantly, it's not always about buying something for yourself; happiness can stem from sincerely giving to others who are in need. Some lottery winners are charitable and some aren't, but those who are find it more fulfilling to spend their winnings towards a cause than to spend it selfishly on themselves.

There's nothing wrong with buying things for yourself. The problem is that there isn't much right with doing this, either. Many of the major purchases that we make -- like fancy cars and big houses -- don't really make us much happier. When you use your money to buy stuff for yourself, you're leaving happiness on the table.

But there's a solution: Give it away. Perhaps when you thought about what you'd do with a million bucks, a tiny voice in the back of your head meekly said, "And I'd give some to charity" -- before being drowned out by a cacophony of desires to refurnish your house and reinvigorate your wardrobe.

Our research conducted over the last decade suggests that you should listen more closely, and more often, to that little voice. Why? Because giving your money to others instead of spending it on yourself provides a bigger happiness bang for your buck.

In one experiment, we gave people $5 in the morning and told them to spend it by that evening -- either on something for themselves, or something for someone else.

When we called them that evening, those who spent on themselves were just as happy as they were before getting the cash.

Those who spent it on others? They bought presents for family members, or gave money to the homeless -- and were happier than those who spent on themselves. We see this pattern time and time again, nearly everywhere we've looked in the world, in countries ranging from Canada to Uganda to India to South Africa: Spending money on other people is linked to happiness.

- Michael Norton and Elizabeth Dunn

Read more: How to buy happiness

Expert Says

"Wealth does not translate automatically into peace. In fact, it can get in the way. If, no matter how much money you have, you can keep your actions aligned with your values, you'll be more likely to find a joyous existence, no matter what your financial circumstances are."

Carla Robertson

Carla Robertson
Life Coach

Having more money doesn't change our circumstances as much as we think it might. There's a lot of truth to the saying that money can't buy happiness. When you imagine winning the lottery and how that will change your life, think about what you want with that money. Then think how you'll feel when you get what you want.

What you're really looking for is that feeling state which can often be achieved without the thing you think you need money to have. Of course, if you don't have enough to survive and are very uncomfortable, or need money for medical bills or to cover debt, money that you win might really help. But it will only help in the short term.

More money cannot guarantee health or safety or being loved or nearly as much security as we attribute to it. It's not magic.

Wealth does not translate automatically into peace. In fact, it can get in the way. If, no matter how much money you have, you can keep your actions aligned with your values, you'll be more likely to find a joyous existence, no matter what your financial circumstances are.

Don't Let Your Sudden Wealth Ruin Your Relationships

Talk to your partner about money

Acquiring sudden wealth can strain any relationship. Winning the lottery can either change your life for the better or for the worse. And sometimes the closest to you can be the most difficult to deal with once you announce your big win, but don't let that bother you. Relationships can only suffer when you don't handle your winnings right. If the strain stems from gaining sudden wealth, then maybe it's time to talk to financial and relationship advisors.

"Winning the lottery changed our lives for the worse," Jodie says. She says after her husband, Edwin's win, he made big purchases without her input, like three trucks, a snowmobile and a motorhome. "He thought it was his money, and no one was going to tell him what to do with it. I just wanted to be part of the decisions he was making," she says. "The only thing that I really requested is that we purchase a home. He transferred $500,000 into my account. From that point on, he stopped paying for anything. All bills became my responsibility."

"When I won the lottery, she was more excited than me. I think that's why she's with me. She has money signs in her eyes," Edwin says. "She has no concept of the value of a dollar. She is obsessed with money. I gave her $500,000 to buy the house. There was so much money gone. She couldn't, to this day, explain it to me where it went. I can pinpoint where my winnings went. When I won the lottery, I thought it belonged all to me. I thought I could spend it how I want, without asking for permission."

Read more: My Husband's Big Lottery Win is Ruining Our Marriage

In my experience working with couples...I find there are a lot of financial skeletons in the closet. If couples don't address these secrets, it just causes problems down the road.

- Therese Nicklas, a CFP with U.S. Wealth Management in Boston.

Read more: When Couples Keep Money Secrets

One might be a spender; the other, a saver. Those opposing ideas of money and marriage can make finance one of the most difficult and potentially explosive topics for couples to discuss, leading to marital disharmony over spending.

- Nancy Mann Jackson, Editor at Bankrate

Read more: Couples' cash: managing money and marriage

If you want to stay married, talk about money.

Read more: How-to Guide: Manage Money With Your Mate

If talking just ends in arguments (and relationship problems can often be one of the main causes of comfort spending), you'll need outside help from an adviser, a debt counsellor or even relationship counsellor.

Read more: How to survive as a couple if one of you spends too much

Expert Says

"My lottery winnings would go towards my funding my mission: Ending world divorce."

Laura Doyle

Laura Doyle
New York Times Best Selling Author
World's Most Famous Intimacy Expert

I won the lottery when I married my husband, John, 25 years ago, so I know just what it's like to be very fortunate.

The tragedy was, I didn't realize it at the time. I felt there were a few things—well, just about everything actually- that I was better at than him, so I went about trying to improve him. Talk about squandering your winnings!

Fortunately, I came to my senses in time and re-discovered my treasure by learning The Six Intimacy Skills, which have been worth more than gold. Learning the skills gave me everything I want in love and life, including a brilliant, funny husband, who has been dressing himself since before I was born.

Therefore, my lottery winnings would go towards my funding my mission: Ending world divorce.

I'd start by setting up a "refresh your spirit" fund for women (since that's the first of the Six Intimacy Skills) to pay for babysitters, pedicures, art supplies, massage, coffees and other frivolous self-care activities that contribute so much to happier marriages.

Next, I'd provide more women with relationship coach training to help spread the skills in more communities, hand out more books and create more programs to show women the simple steps to having intimate, passionate, peaceful relationships.

Finally, I'd pay every marriage counselor to give up the old couples therapy model that never works, and replace it with the proven Six Intimacy Skills.

What a wonderful world that would be!

Who Wants To Be A Billionaire?

Look at other billionaires and see how they managed to stay on the right track with their wealth. Money placed in the wrong hands can lead to disastrous results, but given to the right type of people—and with the right group of financial advisors—it can be life-changing in a good way. Take it from the habits of happily wealthy people; they are aware that money can go as quickly as it comes, so they take care of it by not letting wealth define them or their actions.

Warren Buffet

Warren Buffett

The real secret to Buffett's personal fortune may be his penchant for frugality. Buffett, who is worth an estimated $47 billion, eschews opulent homes and luxury items. He still lives in a modest home in Omaha, Neb., which he purchased for just $31,500 more than 50 years ago. Although he's dined in the best restaurants around the globe, given the choice he would opt for a good burger and fries accompanied by a cold cherry Coke. When asked why he doesn't own a yacht, he responded "Most toys are just a pain in the neck."

Read more: Forbes
Photo credit: Mark Hirschey

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg

As the mastermind behind Facebook, Zuckerberg is a billionaire many times over. But the 28-year-old leads a surprisingly low-key lifestyle. He recently upgraded to a $7 million house in Palo Alto, but The Los Angeles Times called the home "still well below his means." Zuckerberg reportedly drives an Acura "because it's safe and not ostentatious," and famously wears the same gray t-shirt and hoodie to work every day. His wedding to longtime girlfriend Priscilla Chan took place in his backyard, and the pair was seen digging in at a McDonald's on their Italian honeymoon.

Read more: Business Insiders
Photo Credit: Jason McELweenie

Chuck Feeney

Chuck Feeney

The co-founder of Duty Free Shoppers has quietly become a billionaire but even more secretively given almost all of it away through his foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies. Loath to spend if he doesn't have to, Feeney beats both Buffett and Kamprad in the donation category, giving out less grants than only Ford and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations. A frequent user of public transportation, Feeney flies economy class, buys clothes from retail stores, and does not wast money on an extensive shoes closet, stating "you can only wear one pair of shoes at a time".

Read more: Forbes
Photo credit:

When you think about the richest people in the world, you may envision them surrounded by all the trappings of wealth: race cars, yachts, mansions and other toys that most of the rest of us can only dream about. The term "frugal billionaire" may seem like an oxymoron, but a small subset of the richest of the rich are well-known for their penny-pinching ways. While most people will never have that kind of money to throw around, everyone can take a page from the fiscally-responsible habits of these billionaires.

- Angie Mohr

Read more: The Everyday Lives Of Frugal Billionaires

Our Two Cents...

From the sage advice from experts and professionals, winning the lottery is just the beginning. How the winner will manage the lottery money is the true test of how much of a "winner" the person will be. It all boils down to the approach and psychological state of that person that will determine how wisely – or stupidly – he or she will spend the money.

Just a final word of advice: money is something that comes and goes by. Instead of focusing on the cool stuff you will buy with your lotto winnings, channel the winnings to help you improve the quality of your life, a concept that money will never, ever buy.