A self-proclaimed lottery attorney shared the key steps to take after winning the jackpot and why you should hire a car to collect a huge check.
Kurt Panouses offers advice after over 30 lottery winners have won huge jackpots.
Emphasizing the importance of privacy, Panouses told WISN that the winners should go on with their lives as if they hadn’t won.
At least initially, lottery winners should try to avoid large purchases.
“You will not go back to your little hometown and tear down your house and build a big mansion,” Panoses said.
He said you might want a friend to rent a car and drive you to the lottery office when you claim your prize.
This is to prevent anyone from tracking your license plate, Panouses says.
In some states, like the Wisconsin lottery, lottery winners may be required to prove their identity.
Oneida Nation’s Clint and Tammy Webster have stepped forward after hitting the $316.3 million Powerball jackpot in 2022.
However, claiming the prize as a group would provide more privacy, as a court order would be required to reveal the identity of the winner, Panuses said.
A lottery attorney said, “Why don’t you just take a court order and say, ‘In addition to that, we want to have some privacy on this and have the judge issue a court order.'”
Panouses says it’s best to invest your money and work to regain your anonymity if your name is revealed.
He said setting up a trust to purchase property protects your money and identity.
Lottery attorneys also recommend finding a “good financial planner.”
“It’s not the time to go to your local credit union and open an account that you’ve been using all your life,” he said.
If you need more tips on how to keep your money safe if you win the lottery, attorneys at Phillips, Hunt, Walker & Hanna have some helpful advice.
One recommendation given by attorney John M. Phillips was to immediately claim your rights to the winning ticket, as “possession is often the primary consideration.”