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Link Posted: 11/18/2012 10:45:59 AM EDT
Originally Posted By CWO:

Originally Posted By andrasik:
Me? A Ferrari 458, red.

I'll give you 400 miles in it before your crash pics are on the Web.

It would probably self immolate first. Those have quite the reputation for spontaneous combustion.

And the California looks funky as hell from the rear. Sitting behind one in traffic the other day and could not get over teh ugly butt.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 10:48:28 AM EDT
Not sure what I'd buy first, but I'd hire Austrian for sure.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 10:55:06 AM EDT
After hiring a smart attorney, accountant, and money guy, I'd buy as much land as I could afford in Hill Country. Then I'd buy a place somewhere near Durango Co. to park a badass Jeep.
Summers in CO with all the fucking hippies and winters in TX to regain my sanity. A lot of hunting, fishing, hiking, shooting and jeeping in between.

Link Posted: 11/18/2012 10:55:11 AM EDT
Something that would make me money rather than cost me money. I would invest it into my business.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 10:56:14 AM EDT
First, the services of a good attorney and a good financial planner as well as a home security service and an unlisted phone number.

Link Posted: 11/18/2012 11:01:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/18/2012 11:01:59 AM EDT by berto187]
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 11:04:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By flynhghr2001:
I would pay off all my debts

I think this answer shows what kind of person you are. I have seen the question posed as "If you won the Powerball would you pay off your depts?" The most interesting reply I heard was something to the effect of I would not because I would have so much money I would never need to get a loan again.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 11:04:26 AM EDT
A blimp with a giagantic TV screen on the side that broadcasts images from my webcam so that I may sit in paradise and heckle my former co-workers as they go into work everyday.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 11:04:53 AM EDT
A ball gag.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 11:05:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/18/2012 11:05:48 AM EDT by BeerPimp]
Originally Posted By arfarf:
A blimp with a giagantic TV screen on the side that broadcasts images from my webcam so that I may sit in paradise and heckle my former co-workers as they go into work everyday.


I like your style. Do you have a newsletter I could subscribe to?
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 11:06:51 AM EDT
A new, larger house on property. Like 50 acres.

Then it's pallets and pallets of ammo.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 11:15:21 AM EDT
Insulin trust fund account for my son.
Massage studio for my daughter
Pay off my brother's bills
Big bag of money to my aunt and uncle that take care of the ancestral family farm.
$50K to the home care professional that took care of Wifey's dad until he passed.
Walking depth pool for my dad...bad hips/back.
New Dial a Ride vehicle for our Senior Citizens Club.
2 pair of breeding Choco-Labs for Wifey.
New bigger house in NJ with 6 car detached garage...cabin and acreage in the woods either PA or NY.
Get my cousin away from her Ass-Hat soon to be Ex.
Put our friend's kids through college.
$50K to a buddy who's house is financially underwater.
Free airline tickets for life for mom.
New cars and or trucks for us and the kids.
A few motorcycles...at least 2.
Might get an Iphone.

Rebuy guns I sold when I had Lyme's disease.

I guess that'll do it.

Link Posted: 11/18/2012 11:15:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/18/2012 11:19:14 AM EDT by arfarf]
Originally Posted By BeerPimp:
Originally Posted By arfarf:
A blimp with a giagantic TV screen on the side that broadcasts images from my webcam so that I may sit in paradise and heckle my former co-workers as they go into work everyday.


I like your style. Do you have a newsletter I could subscribe to?

No but once I win I will offer a job as my yes man, all you will have to do is travel around with my entourage, agree with everything I say, and refer to me as "my lord".

Or I could make you project oversight of the construction of my estate. A 13th century english style castle, built in traditional 13th century english style. no powered equiptment and no wages for the "voluteer" laborers.

Link Posted: 11/18/2012 11:17:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:
Originally Posted By CWO:

Originally Posted By andrasik:
Me? A Ferrari 458, red.

I'll give you 400 miles in it before your crash pics are on the Web.

You have to do something apocalyptically stupid to crash one of those things.

Is that not the reason for buying a Ferrari?
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 11:20:01 AM EDT
Originally Posted By andrasik:
Originally Posted By berto187:

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:
Originally Posted By CWO:

Originally Posted By andrasik:
Me? A Ferrari 458, red.

I'll give you 400 miles in it before your crash pics are on the Web.

You have to do something apocalyptically stupid to crash one of those things.
Ryan Dunn?

Different car, but you would get the same results.

He was also drunk...

Link Posted: 11/18/2012 11:22:08 AM EDT
A missile silo and as much surrounding land as I could afford before going on safari for a month.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 11:23:46 AM EDT
Originally Posted By arfarf:
A blimp with a giagantic TV screen on the side that broadcasts images from my webcam so that I may sit in paradise and heckle my former co-workers as they go into work everyday.


This is the best idea ever. I would shoot down your blimp after a few days of that though.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 11:26:27 AM EDT
After the legal formalities: a nice big place in MT, some fun vehicles, enough guns and ammo to make Feinstein cry, and physical gold/silver.

I would amuse myself on an ongoing basis by funding Gura et al to fight all manner of bullshit state and local 2A infringements, however trivial. McCarthy would be haunted by visions of me every time she closed her eyes.

Link Posted: 11/18/2012 11:27:17 AM EDT
Originally Posted By berto187:
That is beautiful!!!

Look at all those cupholders for the pilots.

It does not have a potty.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 11:30:08 AM EDT
[ Then I'd buy a place somewhere near Durango Co. to park a badass Jeep.
Summers in CO with all the fucking hippies and winters in TX to regain my sanity. A lot of hunting, fishing, hiking, shooting and jeeping in between.

Hey, my Jeep's for sale and you don't even have to hi the lottery to buy it!
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 11:31:48 AM EDT
1. Taxes
2. Chraity
3. My debt
4. LOTS of land to hunt and fish on
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 11:33:13 AM EDT
I'd hire Austrian and give him a cattle prod to keep me in line.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 11:33:42 AM EDT
Originally Posted By arfarf:
Originally Posted By BeerPimp:
Originally Posted By arfarf:
A blimp with a giagantic TV screen on the side that broadcasts images from my webcam so that I may sit in paradise and heckle my former co-workers as they go into work everyday.


I like your style. Do you have a newsletter I could subscribe to?

No but once I win I will offer a job as my yes man, all you will have to do is travel around with my entourage, agree with everything I say, and refer to me as "my lord".

Or I could make you project oversight of the construction of my estate. A 13th century english style castle, built in traditional 13th century english style. no powered equiptment and no wages for the "voluteer" laborers.

I'll be a volunteer laborer if you give me a cool title and I can wear a hat.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 11:41:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/18/2012 11:54:32 AM EDT by HRomberg]
A nice island in the Bahamas. Big enough for a good hydroponics garden, some livestock, a small air strip, and a comfortable estate. I'd build a protected marina for my boats, and those of my friends, and commense to living on island time.

I'd want a nice big yacht, something along the lines of a Vicem 75
Vicem 75

That'd be my showing off boat. I'd also need a nice Cabo Express sport fisher, probably about 40', a local construction Dive boat, a triple cockpit mahogany speedboat, a runabout, a flats boat, and a nice Alerion 28 day sailor. Assorted kayaks and PWCs as well, and a large zodiac for general futzing about. Suppose I'd need a good sized barge with a crane and a small tug to move it.

I'd start a building company in the Bahamas too, so I could actually get stuff done.

Oh yeah. I'll need a plane. Something small to medium sized in a twin engine turboprop would be fine. I'll charter jets as needed. Might consider a chopper too.

A lodge with acreage in Alaska, would be on the list, as would a small plantation house on the James River with a good boathouse. Might snag a place or two in other countries as well.

For cars, I'd go armored and comfy. A nice Mercedes, would be fine. For showing off, I want an XK -140 original roadster.

How big is this powerball gonna be?

Once I'm done with all that, I'm gonna need the BIG bucks for the really fun part.

I'd commission a fully functional replica.........of Old Ironsides. Can you picture the fucking fun you could have sailing THAT beast around in the tall ship events? Some little schooner puffs out smoke from a couple 4 pounder cannon and......Well, I can only imagine the joy at having to replace half the windows in Baltimore's Inner Harbor after the shockwave you'd make with several dozen 32 pounders going off (blank loads, of course) all at once.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 11:55:23 AM EDT
First thing? Top notch lawyer(s) and financial planner(s)

After that?

Pay off all personal debt
Help out some family members
Help out a couple churches
Trusts for kids
A home or three in some places I'd like to spend time
Two or three new vehicles
Some travel
Academic and charitable endownments
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 12:07:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By dreadful_hillbilly:
Originally Posted By berto187:
That is beautiful!!!

Look at all those cupholders for the pilots.

It does not have a potty.

Potties lead to corrosion, expensive repairs, and pissed off mechanics. Learn to hold it.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 12:11:20 PM EDT
My economic freedom.

Pay off student loans and my mortgage.

First fun thing I would buy? A mini-gun. Oh yeah.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 12:13:24 PM EDT
More .223/5.56 ammo. Maybe the factory if I scored big enough.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 12:16:42 PM EDT
A nice suit.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 12:34:31 PM EDT
Pay someone who can erase all mention of me winning.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 12:40:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By JaxsonRaine:
I would be tempted to buy this ranch, but I know I could never justify that much money($25,000,000), no matter how much I had.

Trees Ranch, UT


lots of up and down.... but not much sideways. pretty though
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 12:41:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By andrasik:
Me? A Ferrari 458, red.

Link Posted: 11/18/2012 12:42:02 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 12:42:28 PM EDT
I would buy a home/condo in the Caymans or Turks/Caicos.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 12:42:42 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Matt_The_Hokie:
I pay off my debt and go into hiding for a few months. All the while making arraignments with a lawyer and accountant.

Link Posted: 11/18/2012 12:45:31 PM EDT
A one-way ticket to New Zealand.

Link Posted: 11/18/2012 12:45:58 PM EDT
how much powerball we talkin? for my own mental health ill just pretend its the sorta money where i can sit down at a restaurant and not look at the prices on the menu but not so much that i can spend the rest of my life hunting people for sport

-pay off the little debt me and my wife have
-house we can afford with money set aside to help cover the unforeseen... if we dont have to work 9-5 jobs anymore then we are moving to a free state with a nice bit of land 45min away from the rest of the world
-money for the kid to get through college without having to worry about paying her rent or car payments... she wants to be a foley artist and shes wanted to do this for years so hell.. ill build her a studio to do whatever she loves
-help my folks out with whatever debt they have
-get my wife the studio shes always wanted so she can do "art" and whatever it is that chicks do
-build myself the garage ive always wanted and finally have the time and space to build my own madmax fleet
-do some traveling... see all the beauty and ugly that this world has to offer

beyond that... everything else is gravy
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 12:48:13 PM EDT
Well, first, I'd go into my email and check the "Lottery Do's & Don'ts" post that I copy/saved from here years ago.

Did that guy ever post an updated version? This version is from 2009. I wonder if any of his recommendations have changed. (and if anyone remembers his screenname, please let me know. I forgot to copy it along with the post, way back then.)

Well, with the economy in tatters it is unsurprising that we might see a sudden increase in lottery posts in the General forum. That is usually the signal that it is once again time for me to cull through the archives and repost my guide for recent lottery winners (or hopefuls).

So, without further ado, here it is:

Congratulations! You just won millions of dollars in the lottery! That's great.

Now you're fucked.

No really.

You are.

You're fucked.

I've seen this question (what to do if you win the lottery), a few times on ARFCOM. Amusingly, it recurs quite often. I posted a similar article to this one "back when" but I've updated it with some actual stories and slapped it in GD because, well, why not?

Keep in mind: IAALBNY (I Am A Lawyer But Not Yours). Consult professional advisers before spending your hard earned lottery cash.

It's long. There are no cliff notes. But if you just want to skip the tales of woe of some of the math-tax protagonists, skip on down to the line in bold.

You see, it's something of an open secret that winners of obnoxiously large jackpots tend to end up badly with alarming regularity. Not the $1 million dollar winners. But anyone in the nine-figure range is at high risk. Eight-figures? Pretty likely to be screwed. Seven-figures? Yep. Painful. Perhaps this is a consequence of the sample. The demographics of lottery players might be exactly the wrong people to win large sums of money. Or perhaps money is the root of all evil. Either way, you are going to have to be careful. Don't believe me? Consider this:

Large jackpot winners face double digit multiples of probability versus the general population to be the victim of:

Homicide (something like 20x more likely)
Drug overdose
Bankruptcy (how's that for irony?)

And triple digit multiples of probability versus the general population rate to be:

Convicted of drunk driving
The victim of Homicide (at the hands of a family member) 120x more likely in this case, ain't love grand?
A defendant in a civil lawsuit
A defendant in felony criminal proceedings

Believe it or not, your biggest enemy if you suddenly become possessed of large sums of money is... you. At least you will have the consolation of meeting your fate by your own hand. But if you can't manage it on your own, don't worry. There are any number of willing participants ready to help you start your vicious downward spiral for you. Mind you, many of these will be "friends," "friendly neighbors," or "family." Often, they won't even have evil intentions. But, as I'm sure you know, that makes little difference in the end. Most aren't evil. Most aren't malicious. Some are. None are good for you.

Jack Whittaker, a Johnny Cash attired, West Virginia native, is the poster boy for the dangers of a lump sum award. In 2002 Mr. Whittaker (55 years old at the time) won what was, also at the time, the largest single award jackpot in U.S. history. $315 million. At the time, he planned to live as if nothing had changed, or so he said. He was remarkably modest and decent before the jackpot, and his ship sure came in, right? Wrong.

Mr. Whittaker became the subject of a number of personal challenges, escalating into personal tragedies, complicated by a number of legal troubles.

Whittaker wasn't a typical lottery winner either. His net worth at the time of his winnings was in excess of $15 million, owing to his ownership of a successful contracting firm in West Virginia. His claim to want to live "as if nothing had changed" actually seemed plausible. He should have been well equipped for wealth. He was already quite wealthy, after all. By all accounts he was somewhat modest, low profile, generous and good natured. He should have coasted off into the sunset. Yeah. Not exactly.

Whittaker took the all-cash option, $170 million, instead of the annuity option, and took possession of $114 million in cash after $56 million in taxes. After that, things went south.

Whittaker quickly became the subject of a number of financial stalkers, who would lurk at his regular breakfast hideout and accost him with suggestions for how to spend his money. They were unemployed. No, an interview tomorrow morning wasn't good enough. They needed cash NOW. Perhaps they had a sure-fire business plan. Their daughter had cancer. A niece needed dialysis. Needless to say, Whittaker stopped going to his breakfast haunt. Eventually, they began ringing his doorbell. Sometimes in the early morning. Before long he was paying off-duty deputies to protect his family. He was accused of being heartless. Cold. Stingy.

Letters poured in. Children with cancer. Diabetes. MS. You name it. He hired three people to sort the mail. A detective to filter out the false claims and the con men (and women) was retained.

Brenda, the clerk who had sold Whittaker the ticket, was a victim of collateral damage. Whittaker had written her a check for $44,000 and bought her house, but she was by no means a millionaire. Rumors that the state routinely paid the clerk who had sold the ticket 10% of the jackpot winnings hounded her. She was followed home from work. Threatened. Assaulted.

Whittaker's car was twice broken into, by trusted acquaintances who watched him leave large amounts of cash in it. $500,000 and $200,000 were stolen in two separate instances. The thieves attempted to spike Whittaker's drink with prescription drugs in the first instance. Whittaker was violently allergic to the drug used, and likely would have died given the distance to the nearest emergency room, and the lateness of the hour, but, fortunately he did not consume the drink containing the narcotics. The second incident was the handiwork of his granddaughter's friends, who had been probing the girl for details on Whittaker's cash for weeks.

Even Whittaker's good-faith generosity was questioned. When he offered $10,000 to improve the city's water park so that it was more handicap accessible, locals complained that he spent more money at the strip club. (Amusingly this was true).

Whittaker invested quite a bit in his own businesses, tripled the number of people his businesses employed (making him one of the larger employers in the area) and eventually had given away $14 million to charity through a foundation he set up for the purpose. This is, of course, what you are "supposed" to do. Set up a foundation. Be careful about your charity giving. It made no difference in the end.

To top it all off, Whittaker had been accused of ruining a number of marriages. His money made other men look inferior, they said, wherever he went in the small West Virginia town he called home. Resentment grew quickly. And festered. Whittaker paid four settlements related to this sort of claim. Yes, you read that right. Four.

His family and their immediate circle were quickly the victims of odds-defying numbers of overdoses, emergency room visits and even fatalities. His granddaughter, the eighteen year old "Brandi" (who Whittaker had been giving a $2100.00 per week allowance) was found dead after having been missing for several weeks. Her death was, apparently, from a drug overdose, but Whittaker suspected foul play. Her body had been wrapped in a tarp and hidden behind a rusted-out van. Her seventeen year old boyfriend had expired three months earlier in Whittaker's vacation house, also from an overdose. Some of his friends had robbed the house after his overdose, stepping over his body to make their escape and then returning for more before stepping over his body again to leave. His parents sued for wrongful death claiming that Whittaker's loose purse strings contributed to their son's death. Amazingly, juries are prone to award damages in cases such as these. Whittaker settled. Again.

Even before the deaths, the local and state police had taken a special interest in Whittaker after his new-found fame. He was arrested for minor and less minor offenses many times after his winnings, despite having had a nearly spotless record before the award. Whittaker's high profile couldn't have helped him much in this regard.

In 18 months Whittaker had been cited for over 250 violations ranging from broken tail lights on every one of his five new cars, to improper display of renewal stickers. A lawsuit charging various police organizations with harassment went nowhere and Whittaker was hit with court costs instead.

Whittaker's wife filed for divorce, and in the process froze a number of his assets and the accounts of his operating companies. Caesars in Atlantic City sued him for $1.5 million to cover bounced checks, caused by the asset freeze.

Today Whittaker is badly in debt, and bankruptcy looms large in his future.

But, hey, that's just one example, right?


Nearly one third of multi-million dollar jackpot winners eventually declare bankruptcy. Some end up worse. To give you just a taste of the possibilities, consider the fates of:

Billie Bob Harrell, Jr.: $31 million. Texas, 1997. As of 1999: Committed suicide in the wake of incessant requests for money from friends and family. “Winning the lottery is the worst thing that ever happened to me.”

William “Bud” Post: $16.2 million. Pennsylvania. 1988. In 1989: Brother hires a contract murderer to kill him and his sixth wife. Landlady sued for portion of the jackpot. Convicted of assault for firing a gun at a debt collector. Declared bankruptcy. Dead in 2006.

Evelyn Adams: $5.4 million (won TWICE 1985, 1986). As of 2001: Poor and living in a trailer gave away and gambled most of her fortune.

Suzanne Mullins: $4.2 million. Virginia. 1993. As of 2004: No assets left.

Shefik Tallmadge: $6.7 million. Arizona. 1988. As of 2005: Declared bankruptcy.

Thomas Strong: $3 million. Texas. 1993. As of 2006: Died in a shoot-out with police.

Victoria Zell: $11 million. 2001. Minnesota. As of 2006: Broke. Serving seven year sentence for vehicular manslaughter.

Karen Cohen: $1 million. Illinois. 1984. As of 2000: Filed for bankruptcy. As of 2006: Sentenced to 22 months for lying to federal bankruptcy court.

Jeffrey Dampier: $20 million. Illinois. 1996. As of 2006: Kidnapped and murdered by own sister-in-law.

Ed Gildein: $8.8 million. Texas. 1993. As of 2003: Dead. Wife saddled with his debts. As of 2005: Wife sued by her own daughter who claimed that she was taking money from a trust fund and squandering cash in Las Vegas.

Willie Hurt: $3.1 million. Michigan. 1989. As of 1991: Addicted to cocaine. Divorced. Broke. Indicted for murder.

Michael Klingebiel: $2 million. As of 1998 sued by own mother claiming he failed to share the jackpot with her.

Janite Lee: $18 million. 1993. Missouri. As of 2001: Filed for bankruptcy with $700 in assets.

Mack Metcalf: $65 million. Kentucky. 2000. As of 2001: Divorced. As of 2002: Sued girlfriend for $500,000 claiming he was drunk when he gave it to her. Sued by wife for child support. As of 2003: Died of alcoholism. As of a few months later in 2003: Second wife bought a mansion with the money, collected dozens of stray cats and died of a drug overdose immediately after moving in.

I could go on quite a bit.

So, what the hell DO you do if you are unlucky enough to win the lottery?

This is the absolutely most important thing you can do right away: NOTHING.

Yes. Nothing.


Do NOT tell anyone. The urge is going to be nearly irresistible. Resist it. Trust me.

1. IMMEDIATELY retain an attorney. Get a partner from a larger, NATIONAL firm. Don't let them pawn off junior partners or associates on you. They might try, all law firms might, but insist instead that your lead be a partner who has been with the firm for awhile. Do NOT use your local attorney. Yes, I mean your long-standing family attorney who did your mother's will. Do not use the guy who fought your dry-cleaner bill. Do not use the guy you have trusted your entire life because of his long and faithful service to your family. In fact, do not use any firm that has any connection to family or friends or community. TRUST me. This is bad. You want someone who has never heard of you, any of your friends, or any member of your family. Go the the closest big city and walk into one of the national firms asking for one of the "Trust and Estates" partners you have previously looked up on http://www.martindale.com from one of the largest 50 firms in the United States which has an office near you. You can look up attorneys by practice area and firm on Martindale. The top 50 firms by size are:

Baker & McKenzie
DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary
Jones Day
White & Case
Latham & Watkins
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Sidley Austin Brown & Wood
Greenberg Traurig
Mayer Brown, Rowe & Maw
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
Holland & Knight
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr
Weil, Gotshal & Manges
Kirkland & Ellis
Morrison & Foerster
McDermott, Will & Emery
Shearman & Sterling
Hogan & Hartson
Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham
Reed Smith
O’Melveny & Myers
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker
Foley & Lardner
Fulbright & Jaworski
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman
King & Spalding
Bingham McCutchen
Wilson, Elser Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker
Winston & Strawn
Squire, Sanders & Dempsey
Hunton & Williams
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
Bryan Cave
Vinson & Elkins
Ropes & Gray
Proskauer Rose
Heller Ehrman
Alston & Bird
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
Baker Botts
Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal
Debevoise & Plimpton
Nixon Peabody
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae

2. Decide to take the lump sum. Most lotteries pay a really pathetic rate for the annuity. It usually hovers around 4.5% annual return or less, depending. It doesn't take much to do better than this, and if you have the money already in cash, rather than leaving it in the hands of the state, you can pull from the capital whenever you like. If you take the annuity you won't have access to that cash. That could be good. It could be bad. It's probably bad unless you have a very addictive personality. If you need an allowance managed by the state, it is because you didn't listen to point #1 above.

Why not let the state just handle it for you and give you your allowance?

Many state lotteries pay you your "allowance" (the annuity option) by buying U.S. treasury instruments and running the interest payments through their bureaucracy before sending it to you along with a hunk of the principal every month. You will not be beating inflation by much, if at all. There is no reason you couldn't do this yourself, if a low single-digit return is acceptable to you.

You aren't going to get even remotely the amount of the actual jackpot. Take our old friend Mr. Whittaker. Using Whittaker is a good model both because of the reminder of his ignominious decline, and the fact that his winning ticket was one of the larger ones on record. If his situation looks less than stellar to you, you might have a better perspective on how "large" your winnings aren't. Whittaker's "jackpot" was $315 million. He selected the lump-sum cash up-front option, which knocked off $145 million (or 46% of the total) leaving him with $170 million. That was then subject to withholding for taxes of $56 million (33%) leaving him with $114 million.

In general, you should expect to get about half of the original jackpot if you elect a lump sum (maybe better, it depends). After that, you should expect to lose around 33% of your already pruned figure to state and federal taxes. (Your mileage may vary, particularly if you live in a state with aggressive taxation schemes).

3. Decide right now, how much you plan to give to family and friends. This really shouldn't be more than 20% or so. Figure it out right now. Pick your number. Tell your lawyer. That's it. Don't change it. 20% of $114 million is $22.8 million. That leaves you with $91.2 million. DO NOT CONSULT WITH FAMILY when deciding how much to give to family. You are going to get advice that is badly tainted by conflict of interest, and if other family members find out that Aunt Flo was consulted and they weren't you will never hear the end of it. Neither will Aunt Flo. This might later form the basis for an allegation that Aunt Flo unduly influenced you and a lawsuit might magically appear on this basis. No, I'm not kidding. I know of one circumstance (related to a business windfall, not a lottery) where the plaintiffs WON this case.

Do NOT give anyone cash. Ever. Period. Just don't. Do not buy them houses. Do not buy them cars. Tell your attorney that you want to provide for your family, and that you want to set up a series of trusts for them that will total 20% of your after tax winnings. Tell him you want the trust empowered to fund higher education, some help (not a total) purchase of their first home, some provision for weddings and the like, whatever. Do NOT put yourself in the position of handing out cash. Once you do, if you stop, you will be accused of being a heartless bastard (or bitch). Trust me. It won't go well.

It will be easy to lose perspective. It is now the duty of your friends, family, relatives, hangers-on and their inner circle to skew your perspective, and they take this job quite seriously. Setting up a trust, a managed fund for your family that is in the double digit millions is AMAZINGLY generous. You need never have trouble sleeping because you didn't lend Uncle Jerry $20,000 in small denomination unmarked bills to start his chain of deep-fried peanut butter pancake restaurants. ("Deep'n 'nutter Restaurants") Your attorney will have a number of good ideas how to parse this wealth out without turning your siblings/spouse/children/grandchildren/cousins/waitresses into the latest Paris Hilton.

4. You will be encouraged to hire an investment manager. Considerable pressure will be applied. Don't.

Investment managers charge fees, usually a percentage of assets. Consider this: If they charge 1% (which is low, I doubt you could find this deal, actually) they have to beat the market by 1% every year just to break even with a general market index fund. It is not worth it, and you don't need the extra return or the extra risk. Go for the index fund instead if you must invest in stocks. This is a hard rule to follow. They will come recommended by friends. They will come recommended by family. They will be your second cousin on your mother's side. Investment managers will sound smart. They will have lots of cool acronyms. They will have nice PowerPoint presentations. They might (MIGHT) pay for your shrimp cocktail lunch at TGI Friday's while reminding you how poor their side of the family is. They live for this stuff.

You should smile, thank them for their time, and then tell them you will get back to them next week. Don't sign ANYTHING. Don't write it on a cocktail napkin (lottery lawsuit cases have been won and lost over drunkenly scrawled cocktail napkin addition and subtraction figures with lots of zeros on them). Never call them back. Trust me. You will thank me later. This tactic, smiling, thanking people for their time, and promising to get back to people, is going to have to become familiar. You will have to learn to say no gently, without saying the word "no." It sounds underhanded. Sneaky. It is. And its part of your new survival strategy. I mean the word "survival" quite literally.

Get all this figured out BEFORE you claim your winnings. They aren't going anywhere. Just relax.

5. If you elect to be more global about your paranoia, use between 20.00% and 33.00% of what you have not decided to commit to a family fund IMMEDIATELY to purchase a combination of longer term U.S. treasuries (5 or 10 year are a good idea) and perhaps even another G7 treasury instrument. This is your safety net. You will be protected... from yourself.

You are going to be really tempted to starting being a big investor. You are going to be convinced that you can double your money in Vegas with your awesome Roulette system/by funding your friend's amazing idea to sell Lemming dung/buying land for oil drilling/by shorting the North Pole Ice market (global warming, you know). This all sounds tempting because "Even if I lose it all I still have $XX million left! Anyone could live on that comfortably for the rest of their life." Yeah, except for 33% of everyone who won the lottery.

You're not going to double your money, so cool it. Let me say that again. You're not going to double your money, so cool it. Right now, you'll get around 3.5% on the 10 year U.S. treasury. With $18.2 million (20% of $91.2 mil after your absurdly generous family gift) invested in those you will pull down $638,400 per year. If everything else blows up, you still have that, and you will be in the top 1% of income in the United States. So how about you not fuck with it. Eh? And that's income that is damn safe. If we get to the point where the United States defaults on those instruments, we are in far worse shape than worrying about money.

If you are really paranoid, you might consider picking another G7 or otherwise mainstream country other than the U.S. according to where you want to live if the United States dissolves into anarchy or Britney Spears is elected to the United States Senate. Put some fraction in something like Swiss Government Bonds at 3%. If the Swiss stop paying on their government debt, well, then you know money really means nothing anywhere on the globe anymore. I'd study small field sustainable agriculture if you think this is a possibility. You might have to start feedng yourself.

6. That leaves, say, 80% of $91.2 million or $72.9 million. Here is where things start to get less clear. Personally, I think you should dump half of this, or $36.4 million, into a boring S&P 500 index fund. Find something with low fees. You are going to be constantly tempted to retain "sophisticated" advisers who charge "nominal fees." Don't. Period. Even if you lose every other dime, you have $638,400 per year you didn't have before that will keep coming in until the United States falls into chaos. Fuck advisers and their fees. Instead, drop your $36.4 million in the market in a low fee vehicle. Unless we have an unprecedented downturn the likes of which the United States has never seen, should return around 7.00% or so over the next 10 years. You should expect to touch not even a dime of this money for 10 or 15 or even 20 years. In 20 years $36.4 million could easily become $115 million.

7. So you have put a safety net in place. You have provided for your family beyond your wildest dreams. And you still have $36.4 million in "cash." You know you will be getting $638,400 per year unless the capital building is burning, you don't ever need to give anyone you care about cash, since they are provided for generously and responsibly (and can't blow it in Vegas) and you have a HUGE nest egg that is growing at market rates. (Given the recent dip, you'll be buying in at great prices for the market). What now? Whatever you want. Go ahead and burn through $36.4 million in hookers and blow if you want. You've got more security than 99% of the country. A lot of it is in trusts so even if you are sued your family will live well, and progress across generations. If your lawyer is worth his salt (I bet he is) then you will be insulated from most lawsuits anyhow. Buy a nice house or two, make sure they aren't stupid investments though. Go ahead and be an angel investor and fund some startups, but REFUSE to do it for anyone you know. (Friends and money, oil and water - Michael Corleone) Play. Have fun. You earned it by putting together the shoe sizes of your whole family on one ticket and winning the jackpot.

You 'da Man (Woman).
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 12:50:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By PirateNinja:
Pay someone who can erase all mention of me winning.

Form trust, have lawyer claim winnings. Never a record that you won.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 12:50:39 PM EDT
Originally Posted By andrasik:
Originally Posted By AKSig:
How much we talking?

Answer depends on that.

I just looked - jackpot is $250 million pre-tax right now.

So that.

First: A large enough plot of land out in the country to have my own shooting range.

Followed By: A new car, and an ammo fort.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 12:51:48 PM EDT
A meal at La Talpa restaurant on Pico Blvd and ask that the mild chip sauce be brought.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 12:52:44 PM EDT
H1 - up armored
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 12:54:32 PM EDT
A new identity.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 12:54:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Thuban:
Originally Posted By Trempel:
Property with serious acreage.



Some exotic sports car is LAST on my list. It will be the perfect plot with at least 100 acres, pond big enough to ski, and I will build a compound of small villa's and a main building that the close side of my family, who all like to shoot and spend time together, will move in and have our ultimate dream living. 4 wheelers, tubing/jet skiing in the pond, awesome range that we built with our own dozers and excavators, etc, etc, etc. Will be far enough to not have neighbors but no more than 10-15 minutes away from a decent size suburban community.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 1:25:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Itscomminrightforus:
Originally Posted By Trempel:
Property with serious acreage.


Concur, I'd get my eotwawki retreat built on some serious acreage and then I'd work on making my already very happy woman even happier. Toys, meh, they can wait but I'm sure the retreat in step one would want for nothing , would be toys to me.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 1:29:15 PM EDT
$250.000.000 , what i would first buy?

1. the very first thing would be a good law firm, to represent me for all the crap that i will need lawyers for.
2. very creative accountant
3. ford raptor
4. pay off all bills.
5. hire prepper minded lawyer, to help me hunt down a great chunk of land, in several good locations. in the 100's, or even 1000's of acres. land will have a huge lake
6. buy a seperate bug out location, on another 100-1000 acres, with another lake.
7. buy a sea plane, to get from a to b .
8. build houses in both locations, all prepper, off grid friendly, and stock them. with both owned by seperate corporations.
9. nfa goodies/ supressors/ fun stuff
10. invest in gold and silver.
11. have fun buying and building some cool bov's. latest 2.5 ton military trucks, with ctis, large single wheels, instead of duals, auto trannys, a few unimogs, a couple of armored antiques, ( operational) like m3 stuart, m113apc, pzkpfw lv, with a few modern armored vehicles. mrap maybe. with .50 bmg machine guns. ( all for my museum), get a curators license, so i can buy cool milsurp shit from uncle sam.
12. hire a few awesome mechanics/ welders, to help teach me how to work on this crap.
13. start my own little compound. with ranch, and animals. hire some farm hands
14. add a few bunkhouses, and interview some great like minded people, to help run and manage a prepper community, not a militia, just a off the grid, green house farming, fish raising operation. mostly for college kids, as summer jobs. hire a few full timers though.
15.then.... once its all set up, travel a lot. hire sexy women, to teach me foreign languages. hunt and fish. WIN ! ! ! !

16. OH YEAH. hire a great financial planner, tell them what im wanting to accomplish, and have them help set things up, so i wont run out of cash, and hopefully even make some money on the farm type things.

17. dual Citizenship in several countries, with a simple vacation house.
18. get a pilots license

maybe i read too much prepper fiction !
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 1:30:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AKengineer:
A mean lawyer and a borderline crooked accountant.

Link Posted: 11/18/2012 1:32:17 PM EDT
Lawyer/Financial planner...
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 1:34:16 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 1:35:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Trempel:
Property with serious acreage.

This and a very good accountant.
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