It’s happened.  After all the money you’ve spent on buying lotto tickets you can’t quite believe it’s actually happened.  You’ve won!  No, not $25 or even $25,000 – you’ve hit the big one and have won millions!

So what happens next?

Disbelief.  Closely followed by celebration and wonderful thoughts of what you can do with all that money.  Then all the practical stuff kicks in.

 Who do you tell?

The whole world?  What will that mean to your life?  Or do you keep it a secret?  Probably easier if you live in a city.  But if you come from a smaller community that may be quite a bit harder to do.

What do you do with the money? 

Invest some, spend some, give some away? And then there are family and friends full of advice, and all those others who may have dropped out of your life, who might suddenly reappear.  How do you deal with their great investment ideas or simple requests for help?

Do you give up work? 

Who do you turn to for advice? How do you deal with all of this?  I’m sure there are days where you just want to pull the blankets over your head and go back to how life was before the big win.  Believe it or not, suddenly coming into money can be very stressful – whether it’s winning the lottery or inheriting a lot of money.

Your first stop for advice

Generally, the lottery providers will have plenty of advice and guidance for you in the early stages, so listen to that while you take some time to adjust to your new circumstances.  Ask them if you can talk to at least two other big lotto winners.  Talk to someone who had the big win and has successfully transitioned to being ‘wealthy.’ Many people don’t!  There are endless stories about people going from modest means to millionaires and then ending up in near-poverty.

Ask those successful winners what they did, what worked and what didn’t.  If at all possible, also ask to speak to someone who didn’t handle it well and has possibly lost most of the money.  What was their experience? And what contributed to them not transitioning to ‘wealth’?  Their circumstances will be different to yours, but talking to people who have been in your shoes can be invaluable.

Here are a few things to think about. 

  1. Suddenly winning a lot of money doesn’t change who you are.  What I mean by that is, if you were grumpy and stingy before the big win, you’ll still be grumpy and stingy after the win.  Money doesn’t change who you are.  What it does do is highlight who you are.
  2. If you and your partner were fighting and arguing about money before the big win, you’ll still fight and argue about money after. You may fight in designer clothes living in a mansion or while driving your new sports car, but money won’t make those arguments go away.  The ones that were genuinely about lack of money will.  But some arguments might have been masking other issues in your relationship and they will come to the surface and flair up.  You might still argue about money – they’ll just be a different type of money argument.
  3. If you were a bad money manager before the win, the big win will solve any financial woes in the short term. But if you don’t do anything about upskilling yourself (or employing someone to do it for you), you’ll continue to manage money badly.  And slowly but surely, you’ll go back to your old ways and your old financial situation
  4. We all have money beliefs that will determine how much income we think we are capable of earning and holding onto.  That’s what I call your money belief ceiling.  Once you hit that ceiling, unless you change your money beliefs you won’t progress any further.  You’ll subconsciously push money away that exceeds that ceiling.

The most important aspect that you need to come to grips with is that money is mostly about mindset.  If you don’t adjust your mindset (both your own and within your relationship), it doesn’t matter how much practical financial advice you get.  You’ll continue to struggle psychologically with the money.  And at the end of the day, the money will most likely be the winner not you.

If you’d like help with discovering where your money belief ceiling is, just give us a call or drop us an email and we can give you some more information about our coaching and mentoring programmes.