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Are Lotto Winners Equipped to Deal With Sudden Wealth Syndrome?

By Andre Sanchez

Lotto winners commonly suffer from sudden wealth syndrome, as it is called, though I prefer the term the Beverley Hillbillies Syndrome which applies equally to Lotto winners as it does to newly created pop and sports stars who suddenly find themselves with more money than they know what to do with.

People generally have the hope of winning a lot of money. If they did not, they would not fork out so much cash world wide on this Lotto and that lottery, all wishing that they could just win. They believe that the money would be easy to handle - pay of the mortgage, buy a new car and have a nice holiday. Perhaps a bit of professional redecoration and a second house for that winter break. Yes, no problem, then I can bank the rest and live comfortably for the rest of my life. No sudden wealth syndrome for me. Oh no - Not me!

However, for far too many people it doesn't go that way. Unlike those born into money, and raised with it, they don't know how to handle it or who to take advice from. The first problem they are faced with is the advice of their friends and family: your Lotto winnings are best shared with us. We will help you spend it, and we will do the same for you when we win. "A win for you is a win for the family", even if 'the family' hasn't bought a collective Lotto ticket between them.

Then come all the letters from the financial advisers. Even if you want your identity kept secret it never happens. They all want to tell you how best to invest your money and get their own slice of the pie. That's what it is all about - the pie. Sudden wealth syndrome arises due to the pie being bigger than any individual winning it has ever had to eat before, and they don't know how to preserve it for future times when they might be hungry again.

They are not equipped to handle this Lotto curse of sudden wealth syndrome. Naturally wealthy people understand the need to have their finances controlled by those who know how to do it, and pay well to have it done professionally. Those that have gained sudden wealth through their own business acumen may initially suffer from sudden wealth syndrome, but they generally continue to work, since that is what brought them their wealth. Entrepreneurs tend to flourish and increase their business activities, though some take inordinate risks in doing so, with the perhaps mistaken security of the vast amount of money behind them. This can frequently lead to disaster, but not normally.

Lotto winners, on the other hand, come from all walks of like, and sudden wealth syndrome is more common. They are not used to such riches, and tend to give up the daily drudge of everyday work. This can eventually result in feelings either of guilt or of worthlessness, with no direction or purpose in life other than to spend all that money. So it gets spent and the individual falls into penury, having spent all the capital without earning anything to help replace it. Once the money has gone, the new-found friends disappear, and the old friends disappeared years ago. The result to many can be totally disastrous.

You don't want to be like that, do you? You think you can handle it, don't you? But are you prepared? Would you know what to do if you did win all these millions? One day to have relatively nothing, the next to have several millions? Would you go the same way? Of course you would. So let's have a look at what you should be doing.

Have a blow-out! That's how you should start. Do all the things you dreamed you would do. Get a new house, replace that old banger with a new fabulous sports car, go on a fantastic holiday and pamper yourself with luxury - for a while. Then, seek out a professional and invest the rest. Make sure that you are getting a good return on it and don't trust to winning the Lotto again. Many people make this error, but the odds are as much against you winning a second time as they were the first time.

This is how Lotto winners can be equipped to deal with sudden wealth syndrome. Have a big splash then settle down, employ a financial advisor with experience in dealing with suddenly wealthy people like you, and live from the interest. You are unlikely to win again. Plan and enjoy your life, fail to plan and ruin it!

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