When someone wins the lottery, we always hear about their big win, their amazing story, and what they plan on doing with their winnings. We very rarely hear about what happens beyond their "happily ever after" - whether they follow through on their plans, live a life of luxury and relaxation and never work again.

That's the dream of course - but sometimes even winning the lottery isn't enough to make it come true, thanks to poor planning, bad luck and even fraudsters too. One or two questionable decisions later, and your hard-won millions could be gone as quickly as they came in.

wasting money

Take a look at the top three lessons these unfortunate lottery winners learned the hard way, and put them on your list of what NOT to do when you hit the jackpot:

1. Always claim your lottery winnings yourself

It doesn't matter if it's a family member or a close friend - when it comes to winning the lottery, all bets are off. Unfortunately too much money can bring out the worst in people, as both Jose Antonia Cua-
Toc and Etta May Urquhart found out. In the case of the former, immigrant Cua-Toc gave his $750,000 winning ticket to his boss to collect on, as he was worried his immigrant status would cause issues with lottery officials. Predictably enough, his boss immediately claimed that the ticket was his, and that Cua-Toc had merely purchased it for him. Similarly, Urquhart asked her son to collect on her $15 million ticket, prompting him to sign it and claim the winnings on her behalf. Fortunately, both Cua-Toc and Urquhart were able to successfully sue the offending parties, but it just goes to show - when it comes to money, you can't trust anyone.

2. Always have a financial plan in place

When you hit the lottery, it's tempting to want to go out and BUY ALL THE THINGS! Whatever weird and wonderful dreams you've had, you can now make them come true in the biggest way possible - so why not go out and do just that? Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever, even millions in lottery winnings - which is why financial planning is so vital for lottery winners. It’s certainly something Michael Carroll could have benefited from, after blowing his $15 million jackpot on demolition derbies, drugs and women. Something he did get for free though was a few nights' accommodation - after a number of stints in jail. The same goes for Evelyn Adams, who found her fortune a shadow of its former self after giving some of it away to others, and gambling the rest of it away herself. A little financial planning for either of these two and who knows - they could still be living the high life to this day.

3. Always keep your ticket where you can see it

It's hard enough winning the lottery in the first place - but just imagine how hard it would be to actually win the lottery and then realise you'd missed the chance to claim your winnings? That's the situation that Joanne and Joseph Zagmi and Ron Yurcus found themselves in. After buying a lucky scratch ticket, the Zagmis were the winners of $1 million - until they threw their ticket away by mistake that is. In the case of Yurcus, his ship had also come in to the tune of $1 million - but on a ticket he had bought three months previously and forgotten about. Luckily, both the Zagmis and Yurcus were able to retrieve their tickets and claim their prize money in time - but for every near-miss, there's an actual miss as well, and you don't want it to be yours!

As you can see, winning the lottery doesn't mean having no problems - it simply means having different ones. And knowing what these are in advance could go a long way into helping you to use your winnings wisely. So if big money problems are the kind you'd like to have (and we know we would!) start raking in the cash today with a lottery ticket from One ticket, one jackpot, and a world of opportunities could soon be yours!


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