While you generally have a better chance of being attacked by a shark, struck by lightning or dating a supermodel than winning the Mega Millions lottery jackpot, online casino jackpots have far better odds of being hit, so if you’re playing progressive casino games, you could end up being the next seven or eight figure winner on the casino’s winner list.
In fact, if you do play any kind of progressive slots or casino games regularly then you’ve probably also spent your fair share of time day dreaming about what you would do if you ever won that big, life-changing progressive jackpot. And it’s also highly likely that every time you hear about a big winner on the lottery, horses or at the casinos, your dream probably comes flooding back. After all, that’s half the fun of gambling!
The flip side of course, and a reality that most of us are familiar with is that most of these big time winners end up broke and disillusioned in a few short years after receiving their supposedly life changing windfalls. Here we look at a few tips as to what you should know and do to avoid ending up in the same sad situation that so many big winners have in the past.
Before you quit your job
If you’re lucky enough to win a few million on your favourite progressive slot or casino game before you run out and quit your job be aware of the fact that not all online casinos will pay out the entire jackpot amount all at once. While some do, many will instead pay out in monthly instalments which could put a big dent in your plans. So always check the fine print of the online casino terms and conditions before you play but if you didn’t, before you quit your job, check on how much and how frequently you’ll be getting paid out.
Another important thing to do is decide on what you want your lifestyle to be and if you can really afford to quit your job long term in light of these aspirations.
Don’t tell people
Many casinos will give you the option of staying anonymous or only using your initials or first name in all publicity related to your win. This is the smart option. Many big winners will tell you that as soon as they told friends and family about their fortunes people came out of the woodworks seeking investments and loans, making the winners feel “obligated” to help. This is a fast way to put a drain on your bank account.
Another reason to stay anonymous is that as soon as the news becomes public, if your full name and photograph are published you’ll have financial investment firms beating down your door offering “help” and investment advice for your newfound wealth.
Pay off debts and set a Budget
When you win big the last thing you’ll probably want to do is think of a budget, but no matter what sum you win you’ll have to and it’s better to do it sooner rather than later. The best thing to do is to pay off all of your outstanding debt. That way you can save on any interest charges due that end up costing you more money and make a clean start with a realistic mind set as to how much you can afford to spend on the things you want.
If you want a new house and a car, and you can afford it, by all means go for it but avoid making radical, impulse purchases until the initial excitement has worn off (this could take anything up to 6 months). The best advice most winners have been given is to a lot their money into three categories: Spend some, save some, give some. This way you can enjoy spending some of the money on the things you want and enjoy, use it to benefit others (if you so wish) and also secure your financial future.
Consult a lawyer and a financial advisor
If you’ve won a truly large sum at the casinos then you will probably need the advice of professionals as to your tax obligations – these differ from one country to the next when it comes to gambling, investment opportunities and estate planning to ensure that your family and loved ones are well looked after should anything happen to you.
Seek out the services of a recommended financial advisor but never let them control your finances, be involved in every decision and transaction that takes place so that your money cannot be stolen out from underneath you. Securing the services of a lawyer to review any new potential contracts and assist with estate planning will also be to your benefit.
If you take these few tips into account and do happen to win big then you’ll be well on your way to not only enjoying your new found wealth but also sustaining it for years to come…