-finance -lottery opinion

What you should do if you win the lottery

Alot of people play the lottery with no plan or any idea of the pitfalls of having more money than they are used to. This is meant to be a rough guide on what you should do if you win, but keep in mind this is only a guide and rules vary from state to state.

Did you know that 50% of lottery winners spend it all within two years, and 70% of lottery winners spend it all within five years; which in turn forces them to go back to their day jobs?

First, protect your ticket

In some cases, a person who has won the lottery will have their ticket stolen, or a false winner claims the true winner stole it from them, and family may fight you for it.

As soon as you win

  • Don't tell anyone, except spouse, no bragging.
  • Sign the back of your ticket.
  • Take a selfie with the signed ticket.
  • Make a photocopy of the signed ticket.
  • Put the ticket in a safe place, like a safe or bank deposit box.
  • Don't quit your job, it could take up to a year to get your money.
  • Don't go on a spending spree.
  • Sleep on it for a day.

Second, make an important decision

Decide if you want to receive your winning in installment or one lump sum payout. Here are a list of advantages & disadvantages for each:

Lump Sum Advantages

  • Winnings are taxed at current rates, which could be higher in the future.
  • Has more value now, because of dollar inflation and increased cost of living rising every year.
  • You'll get what's owed to you now, dodging any unforeseen circumstances in the future where you might not receive payment.

Lump Sum Disadvantages

  • You don't get the full amount, you actually only get about half the jackpot, plus about 40% in taxes. In other words, if you win 1 million, you walk away with roughly $300,000.
  • You deny yourself a possible majority of life long income stream.
  • If you blow your lump sum within a few years, you'll end up broke and back where you started.

Installment Advantages

  • You can better your standard cost of living with a continued revenue stream.
  • You cannot blow through all your winnings at once.
  • Lower income tax bracket, meaning you pay less than 40% in taxes.
  • You end up getting the entire jackpot.

Installment Disadvantages

  • If you decide to invest, smaller income means smaller investments that earn you less in compounded interest.
  • Because of inflation, your payouts become less valuable each year.
  • If you die before finishing receiving your payouts, they are not passed on to someone else.
  • If the lottery is canceled for whatever reason, so might your payments.

My advice

If you are under 40, take it in installments and continue working on your career. If you are over 40, take the lump sum, retire, and be sure to invest some of it.

Third, claim your ticket

Choose to remain anonymous when you claim your ticket. Although, only six states allow you to remain anonymous: Delaware, Kansas, Ohio, Maryland, North Dakota, and South Carolina.

Otherwise, after reporting your winnings, the media will be all over it telling the whole world that you won. Once the cat is out of the bag, all kinds of people will crawl out from under rocks asking for handouts. Suddenly, you'll have life long best friends that you didn't know you had. False injury claims with threats of a lawsuit. Family members who will present you with wish lists, and don't forget about Uncle Sam who wants his fair share.

To prepare for this you should

  • Find a hotel to hide in until things calm down.
  • Hire an attorney to help you prepare against lawsuits.
  • Hire an accountant and financial advisor.
  • Get a temporary phone to avoid solicitation and harassment.
  • Get a temporary post office box to avoid solicitation and harassment.
  • Prepare a conversation to have with family and friends about setting boundaries.

After receiving your winnings

You may want to buy your family and friends expensive gifts or just give them money. If you do, I recommend having them sign a document agreeing that they cannot ask or expect any more from you. In some states oral agreements are valid, some folks may claim to the courts that you made a verbal agreement to buy them something more.

Things to do

  • Pay all your debts, including mortgage, car loans, and credit cards.
  • Speak to your financial advisor about investing your money.
  • Get a will, or update the one you currently have.

Things to consider

Before you run off to buy the nicest house you can find, consider the estimated cost of taxes, homeowners insurance, and maintenance costs. So if you buy a million dollar home, taxes & insurance will cost you roughly about $20000 a year, or $1666 a month. So ask yourself, if you ever run out of money, can you afford to keep your new million home if you get your old job back?
-2020 -april fools -holiday update

Happy April Fool's Day in the year 2020!

April Fools' Day or sometimes called All Fools' Day, has been around since the 19th century. It is an annual custom on April 1, consisting of harmless pranks. Here is a short video of last year's prank people did to one another:

-human rights -philosophy -xarchology opinion

My version of the Declaration of Human Rights, first draft

I have read the Declaration of Human Rights many times, and it has always bothered me how long it is, and how it says "rights" in the title, mostly says what NOT to do. So I decided to see if I could write a modern, shorter, improved version.

-cost of living -finance opinion

How to determine your cost of living, and tips on how to reduce it

It has been reported that 80% of Americans live beyond their means. They live paycheck to paycheck, rotate which monthly bill to skip, and have no means of retirement other than the unreliable social security. Also, the average american has $60,000 in debt between mortgage, car loans, student loans, and credit card debt.


I added an archives page to this site for your convenience

Today, I finished the custom archives page that lists post categories, tags, posts by date, and has a search feature. I'm excited about this because I did something that Blogger by default, does not feature. Using Blogger's labels widgets, I can dynamically seperate categories from tags. Meaning the script or method I use does not have to be updated, but I can update/edit/add tags & categories as I see fit without breaking anything.

-games -google -pre-review -stadia opinion

Why I prefer Google Stadia over a traditional gaming console

This is not a review, but maybe a pre-review. I will not be mentioning the lack of Stadia features that were promised at launch, because I didn't purchase it at launch. I will instead, express my personal experience thus far, and how it currently serves my needs.
-blogger -blogspot -code -labels -search -tags opinion

Blogspot: search posts using multiple labels

It took me awhile to realize that you could search for posts with more than one label on a Google Blogspot website. Why is this important? Not only can you search more specifically on someone else's Blogspot website, but you can also create your own menu items for your own Blogspot site to show things with certain multiple labels. Let me share with you how to do this.
-gardening -lawncare -roses opinion

Dealing with roses that have rose rosette disease

I am not an expert. This is based on personal experience of having taken care of over 40+ roses (mostly knockout variety) in the past 5 years. All of my roses, and my neighbors, have fallen victim to the uncommon rose rosette disease. This is what I learned...
-blogger -blogspot -cannon memorial masonic lodge -design -freemasonry -google -masonic -portfolio -theme -web design art

My Blogspot theme design for Cannon Memorial Masonic Lodge

The client needed a free blogging solution for the domain www.cannon-memorial-masonic-lodge.org and so I recommended Google Blogger Blogspot over Wordpress. For those Wordpress lovers, I didn't recommend the free version of Wordpress because of it's limited branding options in it's free tier.

So "SixTwoSix" is a Blogspot theme that I made for "Cannon Memorial Masonic Lodge 626" that features fluid responsive design with page loader. It will look great on smartphones, tablets, and laptops. This theme is exclusive to Cannon Memorial Masonic Lodge, and will be available to anyone else.

-shape dividers -svg -web design art

Free SVG border shapes for your web design.

Using Inkscape, I have created several SVG border shapes to use in web design. With it being a vector graphic, they will scale without losing image quality. You may use this images for free, as long as you don't try to sell or redistribute them. A link back would be nice, but not required. A monetary donation would be even better.

NOTE: I intend to add more as I need them. So be sure to check back to see any new ones I may have added.

-2020 -new year update

Happy New Year to you in the year 2020

I just would like to say happy New Year's to everyone out there. May this be your best year yet. Let's move forward together to a better and brighter future!

I have made a New Year's resolution to be more productive, by eliminating distractions and excessive projects. I had been trying to work on too many projects in the past and got spread too thin. This caused me to neglect my primary business and lose alot of "me" time just to relax. This year I hope to get more done, but at the same time have more fun and not take things I cannot control so seriously.

Best Wishes,

- Draven Xarcell Vestatt