First off there are a thousand variables here. How much did you win? What were the options to take the money? Two of the most important questions to be answered first for any INTELLIGENT decision to be made. First person you should talk to is your accountant(yes if you didn't have one yesterday, you do today!). Ask him to run scenarios as to best options for you and your family.
Second is to look at what to do with now new found money after you have taken care of the business side(taxes and payout). First mistake most people make is their first thought is how to spend it. That should be your last thought. Number one question is how much do I need to live on COMFORTABLY the rest of you and your family's life? That is a different number for everyone. I would guess most could do it on 100k annually the rest of your life. Now again this is a moving target, but I just did a guaranteed income product for life for an individual that gave him 8400k a year for life starting at age 51 that costs him 150k to fund. Using this same math, we could guarantee you 168k a year for life for a mere 3 million. If you just won 10 million, you could pay everything off, buy some nice new toys, set aside 3 million for life, and still probably have 6 million to then go crazy with.
The lottery stories almost all start out amazing and with no planning end as we all fear. I was reading the 314 million win story of Jack who turned a simple man and wife and grand daughter into a nightmare story for us all to never forget.
Yes, my job is to think more boring and conservative by nature. Most hire me to have the peace of mind their money will do whatever they dream and need their money to do in their lifetime and a lot of times help their family better their lives once they eventually pass.
I am not telling you not to buy that car, house, lake house, beach house, new boat, new purse, etc.....I fully believe you dream big and live the best life you can with cards you have been dealt. I am merely saying with proper planning, you can have more fun while also knowing it will never stop for you, your family, and probably your family for generations. Keep dreaming of being rich and ways you would spend it, just know if you want to stay rich, you have to be smarter than Jack Whittaker. I hope you do not become a cautionary tale!!!!!!
-Robert DeVore is a personal financial advisor at Gray Oak Investments in Neosho. He writes a finance column for the Neosho Daily News.