UNITED STATES─I think it is the question that so many Americans ask themselves time and time again. If I hit the lottery what would I do with that money? I mean it’s a dream so many of us hope for including me people. I know so many people think winning the lottery would solve all their problems, but as many of us know, that is not always the case. If anything the more money one has the more problems you have.

The first thing people recommend time and time again is hire an attorney and hire an accountant. For those who are not savvy with legalities and financing, it is not a bad choice, but for the rest of us no way. I’m not entrusting my money with someone who is just looking at it as a pay day people. A lot of the time it’s that attorney and accountant who will deplete so many high-powered Americans (let’s be honest celebrities) drain all of the money they earned.

First thing on my agenda, is keep my mouth shut for a period of time! Do not immediately scream to the masses that you just hit the lottery. You don’t want people to know what you have. It just opens the floodgates for people to begin to pester and stress you out with all of their problems. People you have not seen in years will start coming out of the woodworks angling to get a piece of the pie.

Second, look at the debt that you have, which is certain most people who hit the lottery will have some sort of debt that he or she would like to eliminate. With that said, it’s time to pay off that debt. Once you have that debt squared away, look at what you have left over. Now it is time to start thinking about the things that you need. Let me repeat that, start thinking about the things you NEED, not the things that you WANT. Those are two very different things.

A house is likely to be at the top of the list for most Americans, and with that said, you want to ensure that you don’t overdo it. Get a nice house, but remember the bigger the house, the higher the upkeep in the cost to run that house. Remember, the more fancy the house, the higher the taxes on that property. You can live in a safe place without paying a ton in taxes America. I want people to really think about those things because they are important and they determine how far your funds stretch. You could live comfortable after winning the lottery for a million dollars for quite some time, but what you do with that money will determine how long it lasts.

Deciding rather to buy or finance the house are options to consider. I was always a proponent of just flat out buying the house so I didn’t have to worry about paying a mortgage, just the property taxes each year. It became a realization to me to finance a new house because it helps build, establish credit. This might be the biggest piece of advice I give: do not try to help the world. When so many people come across lump sums of money they start dishing it out to any and everyone who asks and before you know it that money is long gone.

You are then left asking yourself what happened to it, with no answers in sight. Help those who help you, but do it in moderation so you’re not in a pickle where you are unable to dig yourself out of the tunnel that you have placed yourself into. Everyone else’s problems should NOT become your problem simply because you have money.

When you come across huge lottery winnings, you have to invest America. Invest America. This does not mean go out and start buying businesses. If that is something you want to consider doing, do you diligence and homework on the subject before you fork over any money to start. You don’t want to just throw money at something and not see something in return. Place your money into a savings account that draws a significant amount of interest or place your funds onto a CD for several years where you can yield a significant amount of interest.

You can then utilize those funds earned on interest to purchase or do other things in life. I’m a big proponent in investing in real estate. When I say real estate I mean, purchasing property, fixing it up, selling it and making a profit. Owning property is one of the biggest ways to generate revenue so it’s something you always want to consider and you never want to allow it to just slip thru your fingertips.

Now here comes the decision that most of us have trouble with, but for some it takes no time to think about. What do you do about that job or jobs that you have? For me, it’s not a second thought, I’m quitting them all. Would I put in my two-week notice? At first, I thought why? Then it became a realization that I should be responsible and let it be known to my employer that I’ve made a decision that best suits me.

If you’re someone that wants to continue working after hitting the lottery go for it. In my case, if I do anything it’ll be things I’m passionate about, not things that simply bring home a paycheck. At the end of the day, money doesn’t bring happiness, but that is ironic coming from someone who has just hit the lottery and no longer has to worry about money. Don’t get your hopes up because as many of us know, the likelihood of hitting the lottery is slim to none, but just in case that dream comes true, you have a bit of advice to assist you along the way.

Written By Zoe Mitchell