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The best ways to invest lottery winnings

50. Meet billionaire Richard Branson

For the newly-minted millionaire looking for advice, spending a day with self-made gazillionaire and soon-to-be-cosmonaut Richard Branson could be just the ticket.

His advice: “Don’t waste your time trying to be normal.” Word.

Sir Richard Branson
Sofi photo / Shutterstock
Hanging out with Sir Richard could be very inspiring.

49. Give your kid a 'small loan' — of a few million

The world’s most successful business magnates who "came from nothing" usually got some assistance from family along the way.

Helping your kid out is a generous way to use your millions. Just make sure she'll remember to thank you at her inauguration.

Happy enjoying kid girl holding money and showing thumb up sign on blue background
Sofi photo / Shutterstock
Share the wealth with your kid.

48. Rebuild Puerto Rico

Your lottery winnings could go far if invested in Puerto Rico.

To counter the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, the island will need investors in education and to develop its own self-sustaining industries, like agriculture.

destruction and damaged buildings from hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico
stockphotofan1 / Shutterstock
The beleaguered people of Puerto Rico would welcome your help.

47. Pay to have the world's children join hands and sing

Do it in the spirit of peace! For their first number, I nominate Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World.”

Kids with flags on cheeks singing at the classroom
Sergey Novikov / Shutterstock
Arrange for an international singalong to spread harmony and peace.

46. Bankroll a military deferment for your kid

Is there a war coming? Frankly, it depends on who you ask.

A flower with bullet casings, symbolizing peace
Keep your kid out of the line of fire.

45. Buy Twitter — and then shut it down

Tired of those tweets from you-know-who that put us all in a panic? Using your money to put an end to that might seem very appealing.

But the value of Twitter has lately been approaching $20 billion. A lottery jackpot in the hundreds of millions wouldn't be enough. You'd need a few billionaire friends to help you out.

Twitter symbol on table, with smartphone showing Donald Trump Twitter feed
Tero Vesalainen/Shutterstock
If you've had enough, you could try to use your winnings to do something.

44. Go all Cruella De Vil

If your post-win plans include a lot of plotting and evildoing, then you might be drawn to having a coat made from dalmatian puppies.

But this really does limit your color palette. May we suggest synthetic fur?


43. Fix the water supply in Flint, Michigan

Although the water in Flint has been deemed safe to drink after the 2015 contamination crisis, residents have been counseled to drink only bottled water until 2020.

So yes, Flint needs your help — and so do 32 other U.S. towns with unsafe amounts of lead and toxins in their water.

Color photography of a rusty water what run from a faucet
TRIG / Shutterstock
Flint isn't the only community with water issues.

42. Pay to run the ASPCA for 10 years

The animals will thank you with lots of fluffy cuddles and wet-nosed kisses.

Girl volunteer in the nursery for dogs. Shelter for stray dogs.
David Tadevosian / Shutterstock
Support the ASPCA and the critters will love you.

41. Retire to a life of cat-ranching

Make your meme a reality!

A modest investment is all it takes to set up a kitty wonderland complete with scratching sofas, sunning spots, perching shelves and a few perpetual-entertainment machines — aka ceiling fans dangling with cat lures.

5 Kittens on Couch
Tom Myers / Shutterstock
Here kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty.

40. Order 20 grand pianos

Why settle for just one baby grand when you can fit 20 full-size Steinways in your new mansion?

The next natural step: hire a troupe of concert pianists to compose your very own rock opera.

Two grand pianos on stage without no one
otnaydur / Shutterstock
When you're loaded, life can be very grand indeed!

39. Become Dr. Evil

A surefire way to get $1 million more.


38. Adopt 30 children from an impoverished country

In a post-Brangelina world, you're our only hope.

Just please make sure the kids you’re adopting are actually orphans. Seriously.

Humanitarian food for poor children in refugee camp
ESB Professional / Shutterstock
The world is filled with children needing a loving home.

37. Buy a pro sports team

When your favorite team has terrible management, this is the obvious solution.

Disappointed Spectators At Outdoor Sports Event
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock
When you win the lottery, you can stop booing and take charge.

36. Get sweet, sweet revenge

The key here is to cover your tracks — unless you’re just fooling around.

In which case, put it on YouTube.

Rainer Fuhrmann / Shutterstock
Being rich means you can afford to get even.

35. Produce and direct a movie

Powerball winnings could fund a lot of CGI — but you don’t have to be rich to produce a blockbuster.

The Blair Witch Project had a relatively tiny budget of $60,000 and made almost $250 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.


34. Collect the winnings in cash

If you don’t trust the banks, then collecting your winnings in greenbacks might feel safer.

Next, you’d want to put the money into gold and bury it under a tree whose whereabouts are known only to you.

Businessman is happy about money rain as a metaphor of a successful job performance and enormous bonus payment
ImageFlow / Shutterstock
Enjoy the feeling of being showered in cash.

33. Invest it all and work a little longer

Sudden riches don’t have to mean instant retirement.

If you’ve got a few good working years left in you, don't quit your job. Invest your money in the market — or an ultra-safe high-interest savings account — and add to your stockpile.

clock in the badge to get to work
Antonio.li / Shutterstock
You don't HAVE to quit your job just because you can.

32. Drugs

To each their own, I always say.

Sooo…party this weekend?

Marijuana Joints Next to a Jar
Mitch M / Shutterstock

31. 'Escorts'

Parties are only as fun as your entourage — so choose wisely.

Personally, I’d take an escort of four spooning beagles.

Man flirting with prostitute on the street
Photographee.eu / Shutterstock
When you win the lottery, you can afford to, uh, have a good time.

30. Fight global warming

Putting money toward the battle against climate change is a noble way to use it.

There are tons of projects you could fund, from investing in green businesses and resource development to cleaning up the oceans.

Passing on the hot potato, a concept
Olaf Speier / Shutterstock

29. Invest in green energy

Oil is a hard-to-extract resource, and coal is going the way of the dinos. Meanwhile, EPA-certified green energy buy-in has grown more than 40% since 2004.

Green energy seems like a pretty solid investment!

solar panel and renewable energy
Nikifor Todorov / Shutterstock

28. Hire a security team

It makes sense to hire a security team to protect your — ahem — assets.

Or at least install a high-end security system to guard your Monet, Manet and gold toilet.

Full length of bodyguard helping elegant woman stepping out of car at airport terminal
Tyler Olson / Shutterstock

27. Buy a 2nd property

Buying a second house can be a good investment if you pick an up-and-coming area.

Or you could forget investing and snap up a sweet beachfront “cottage” in Malibu.

Beach house along the coast of California
Sahani Photography / Shutterstock

26. Buy a private island

Buying your own slice of island paradise is a classic baller move!

There are lots of multimillion-dollar island estates in the Caribbean and along the coasts of Central and South America to choose from — and some relatively affordable options in the U.S., too.

Beautiful private island in the middle of the Caribbean sea
ESB Professional / Shutterstock

25. Make sure you give the IRS its share

Federal taxes will gobble up 37 percent of any big lottery prize, but you won't even see most of that money. Twenty-five percent is withheld right off the top, and you'll have to hand over the rest.

If that's not bad enough, your state tax agency may want as much as 8 percent of your winnings.

Income tax payment check to Internal Revenue Service for All My Money
Mike Focus / Shutterstock

24. Support your church

Historically, people were subject to tithe, or pay 10% of their earnings, to the church.

But if you want to support your local religious institution today, you can choose how much to give!

Church members putting money in the collection plate.
Lisa F. Young / Shutterstock

23. Lend a hand to at-risk youth

Big donations can go a long way to helping kids — but you don’t have to win the jackpot to make a difference.

Your local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters and other programs make meaningful change in the lives of at-risk youth, and the organizations are always looking for volunteers.

Diverse Group of People Pick Up Trash in The Park Volunteer Community Service
Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock

22. Build an eco-friendly house

Getting a lot of cool, green gadgets installed in your house is great, but you can have an environmentally friendly home even without winning the lottery.

According to The Spruce, the average cost to build an eco-friendly "tiny house" is $23,000, and some can be built for less than $12,000.

Wooden eco house
Lukasz Kochanek / Shutterstock

21. Get professional health advice

You want to be around a while to enjoy your winnings! Chronic diseases such as diabetes are now the greatest cause of death and disability, which means you really do need to start eating more veggies and exercising regularly.

Consider using a professional online health coach like Omada, which is often covered by insurance.

Nutritionist desk with healthy fruit, vegetables and a measuring tape, weight loss and diet concept
Stock-Asso / Shutterstock

20. Open a charity

Celebrity wattage is measured by the size of your charity. Just ask Oprah, Leo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lopez.

Volunteer Charity Helping Hands Give Concept
Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock

19. Settle your friends' mortgages

This way, they can refocus their budgets on hosting more parties!

Portrait of emotional young couple hugging each other
fizkes / Shutterstock

18. Will it to the kids

Hopefully they won’t try to cash the check early. If you know what I mean.

Senior Woman Signing Last Will And Testament At Home
Daisy Daisy / Shutterstock

17. Change your cellphone number

You know they’re just calling cuz they want your money.


16. Help less fortunate families

It’s fantastic to donate money to those who need it.

But it doesn’t take winning the jackpot to volunteer your time or give extra clothing, food and electronics to people who are in need right now.

Mixed race children with their Asian mother play in front of their family home. Image captures family love, confidence, cheerfulness, and togetherness at home.
noBorders - Brayden Howie / Shutterstock

15. Retire

A classic move. Now, if you really want to live like a mobster, check out these amazing destinations where you can retire for less than $200,000.


14. Start a business

They say it only takes a nickel to open your own hotel in Bratislava.

But if you’re looking to be your own boss in San Fran, you’ll need to cough up a whole lot more.

Businessman Determine Ideas Writing Working Concept
Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock

13. Get an accountant

You'll want to hire an accountant to help you track your suddenly massive cash flow.

But if you need affordable accounting or investment advice now, using budget-friendly robo-advisors like WealthSimple or tracking your bills with Quicken are great options.

Businessman and woman conducting an interview smiling as they congratulate and shake hands with the prospective applicant while holding her CV
stockfour / Shutterstock

12. Lawyer up

You know what they say: Mo’ money, mo’ problems.

When you’re dealing with a fortune, first get an accountant — then get a lawyer.

Portrait of a smiling businessman giving an handshake to a customer
Minerva Studio / Shutterstock

11. Quit the 9 to 5

Spending more of your life at work than having fun is just wrong.

Golfer hitting golf shot with club on course while on summer vacation
Daxiao Productions / Shutterstock

10. Update your closet

Hot clothing tip for the newly rich: get custom everything.

Also, a perfectly tailored suit goes great with a monocle.


9. Open a trust fund

When you can’t trust your family with your money, put your money in a trust fund.

Trust funds are usually tax-exempt and can give you long-term control over your money — even after you’ve kicked the bucket.

Close-up of businessman hands with pen signing financial document lying on the desk.
Stasique / Shutterstock

8. Donate to charity

Support the dolphins, the hungry or the homeless, because it’s a nice thing to do.

Donate Charity Give Help Offering Volunteer Concept
Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock

7. Help your family

Whether you help your parents buy a comfortable home or pay for your niece's education, well-placed funds can give your loved ones a better life, without fostering a dependence on your fortune.

Ordinary family making numerous photos during family dinner. Focus on elderly man
Iakov Filimonov / Shutterstock

6. Get new wheels

Buy a new ride and pimp it, baby!


5. Consult a financial manager

You'll need advice on what to do with your fortune, but you'll also need to shop around.

If you invest $1 million and you’re charged 1% a year for management services, you’ll be paying $10,000 a year. Yikes!

Female financial planner meeting with young couple
fizkes / Shutterstock

4. Invest the lion’s share

Investing most of your cash into companies with dividend-paying stocks would grow your money and net you an income.

Even putting $500,00 into a stock with a 4% yearly payout would get you $20,000 a year. Ca-ching!


3. Travel the world

From the mountains of Costa Rica to the Great Wall of China, there’s so much to see, do and taste on this glorious planet!

It’s unlikely you’ll get bored — but maybe save a bit of your money for some space travel, just in case.

Travel the world monument concept
potowizard / Shutterstock

2. Buy a new house

Why upgrade your ailing home if you have the funds to replace it?

To keep growing your fortune, hold onto your old house and rent it out.


1. Pay off all your debt

You could do this if you were instantly rich — but paying off your debt shouldn’t be a dream.

If you need help consolidating your debt or managing your credit payments, visit Even Financial.



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Esther Trattner Freelance Contributor

Esther was formerly a freelance contributor to Moneywise.


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