Protecting your Lottery Win

November 15, 2013 by  
Filed under Lottery News, Lottery Winners

It can be a daunting prospect for the lottery winner suddenly waking up with millions of pounds in their bank account to tackle the multitude of options and financial decisions which invariably accompany a big win. While winning a lottery jackpot is definitely life-changing, and any player would naturally assume that all of their problems were over, life’s never that simple.

For many jackpot winners, the period following the win can suddenly turn into a minefield of challenges and emotions. It’s all too easy to celebrate and go overboard, telling every Tom, Dick and Harry of your windfall, splashing cash around, being over-generous with friends and making risky investments.

Take for example the case of Pedro Quezada, who won a US$338 million Powerball jackpot back in March. Pedro, a native of the Dominican Republic, has had to cut short his celebrations after being sued by his ex-girlfriend for a share of the winnings. Inez Sanchez was in a relationship with Quezada at the time of his jackpot win and she is claiming that she deserves a share of the multi-million dollar jackpot on the basis that they co-owned a grocery store and shared an income. Sanchez is claiming that, as Quezada bought the winning ticket with the money that the couple earned together, the ticket is a ‘joint venture’ and, accordingly, she is entitled to part of the lottery win.


Pedro Quezada speaking at a press conference

However, the pair never married and although a Superior Court Chancery Judge refused to dismiss Sanchez’s claim, she did decline the request to freeze Pedro’s assets to stop him from spending his Powerball lottery win. This ruling may have serious implications for Sanchez, whatever the eventual outcome of the court case, as Quezada has already sent $57 million to his native Dominican Republic, given away $5 million and can’t locate a further $20 million.

To make sure your lottery win turns into a dream rather than a nightmare, here is some advice on how to protect your winnings and make sure your life-changing jackpot transforms the rest of your days for the better.

Keep it to yourself

In your excitement it would be tempting to call all your friends and family to share the news of your win, but rein in your exuberance and try to keep the win to yourself and a few trusted loved ones.

Thankfully, lottery winners in the UK can choose to remain anonymous and enjoy their winnings in private and so avoid a deluge of strangers begging for a share of the fortune.


Get legal advice from an experienced lawyer if you are concerned that you may be vulnerable to claims from a third party, for example, an ex-partner or spouse.
If you have a partner, it may be wise to draw up a written agreement stating whether any winnings would be shared and/or what would happen with the lottery winnings if you decided to go your separate ways. Although this idea may be unromantic, it could save the ordeal and cost of legal battles.

A multi-million pound jackpot win provides a wealth of investment opportunities but making decisions on how to deal with a massive lottery win is best left to the experts. Financial professionals should be consulted to give you honest and impartial advice on the right investments and ensure that you have a proper grasp of the expenditure and the risks involved.

Plan for the Future

Your primary concern is likely to be that your loved ones are taken care of should the unthinkable happen. A startling fact is that 60% of adults in the UK do not have a will. Should anything happen to you and there is no will in place – known as dying intestate – your loved ones could spend years fighting over your legacy rather than enjoying it. Even worse, an unmarried partner could be left with nothing and even spouses could receive just a fraction of your assets.

Setting up a trust fund for your children would protect your assets and ensure that they get their legacy intact, when they’re mature and responsible enough to handle large amounts of money.

Charity trusts allow requests for donations to go through the correct channels and ensure that your desire to spread your good fortune goes to those who actually need it.

Clear those debts

Paying off anything that continually siphons off your lottery money makes financial sense. As interest gathering on your loans and credit cards while you’re busy enjoying your lottery spoils is money needlessly wasted, make paying off the house, car, student loan and store cards a priority.


You might be sitting on top of the world with your huge windfall, but always remember that the more money you have, the more money you’ll spend. Having an appropriate budget, and sticking to it, is essential if you want the money to last.

While it’s perfectly acceptable to treat partners and family members every now and again (nobody likes a skinflint), beware of becoming their primary source of income. Do you trust them, and do they make good financial decisions? If not, you could find them continually queuing at the Bank of You.

We hope you enjoy your winnings, but remember: have a financial plan, don’t be too generous and, above all, keep a clear head…