You've probably heard that the estimated jackpot for the Powerball lottery game is at an all time high of $1.5 billion. You might have purchased some tickets with high hopes of winning. Sure, you say you'll use those lottery winnings to make the world a better place, feed starving children, and cure cancer. The odds of you winning are not good. But in the event that you do win, the odds are very good that you'll end up in some kind of fight over that money and how it should be used.
To help you find the most efficient route to unhappiness, I've prepared this list of the top ten ways to lose friends, family, and co-workers and to make your lawyer happy with your Powerball jackpot.
- Make vague promises to random people about giving them "something" if you win. Make sure that you don't say what that "something" is.
- Your divorce is almost done, so now is the perfect time to hide those lottery winnings. But be sure to not claim the prize until after the judgment is final. Your ex won't be too upset about that.
- Use money from your business to buy lottery tickets.
- Start a lottery pool with friends, family, co-workers, and strangers.
- Keep everything casual with a handshake and a promise with all the people in your lottery pool. Do not set up a trust or an LLC to distribute the winnings to your lottery pool. You don't need more things in writing. Just let a verbal agreement get passed among your group like a game of telephone.
- You can definitely keep track of how much each person should get without writing it down. Do not let everyone in your pool know what their percentage of winnings will be until after the drawing.
- Everyone will definitely remember which ticket they bought for the pool, and which they bought for themselves. Do not make copies of your pool's tickets to share with the group.
- By April 15 of next year you'll still have plenty of money left to pay income taxes. Don't worry about putting anything aside now. Give away large amounts of money to friends and family. Would the government really tax gifts? Make sure to give money to people on Medicaid or Disability. Your one time gift will more than make up for their loss of government support.
- Invest all the money in a new business that just happens to "lose" all the money and goes out of business. Look up "money laundering" on Wikipedia.
- Affluenza is a trendy new thing. Now is the time to get some for your kids.
As a lawyer, I really have say that the above is meant as humor. You should not do any of those things mentioned. Do not take this article as legal advice. If you have won the lottery, call a trusted lawyer to make sure you are protected and that you avoid any easily made mistakes. I can be reached at (616) 723-0444. That is, unless my winning numbers are called.