There’s often a rush of emotion once a player realizes they’ve won. If you’ve won a substantial amount of money, here are a few thoughts to help you navigate your win:
1. Put your ticket in a safe place.
Your ticket is a bearer instrument so treat it with care. You may want to sign the back of the ticket as well.
2. Determine your priorities for the money.
Is there a special purchase you want to make? Would you like to help out your children or a charity or other good cause? Make a plan to help you achieve your goals.
3. Get some guidance.
Consider talking to a financial planner and attorney to determine the best way to claim the prize money. You might begin by working with a certified financial planner. To hold this credential, a certified financial planner has to meet certain educational and experience requirements and ethical standards in which your best interests come first. www.letsmakeaplan.org/
Jackpot prizes and some others offer winners a choice of an annuity over a period of time or a lumpsum payout. You’ll want to determine what is best for your personal situation. You’ll also want to consider taxes – federal, state and local taxes too. Keep your paperwork in order and take the time to review. www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc419
4. Know the deadline to claim.
Winners have 180 days from the draw date to claim any draw game prize or 180 days from the closing date of a scratch-off to claim. Note that there are special claiming options available during the pandemic, as part of the Governor’s State of Emergency. Give the Ohio Lottery a call at 1-800-686-4208 and we would be happy to answer your questions. You can also check out our website for prize claiming details. www.ohiolottery.com/Claiming/Index