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Saturday 28th November 2015
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Winning a substantial lottery prize will change your life forever in just the space of a few minutes, and your approach as to how to share the news will make or break the experience. Most lotteries will have support networks in place specifically for big-ticket winners, which can include access to legal and financial advice regardless of whether you go public or stay private. However, you’ll need to choose one or the other if your ticket is validated and you are confirmed as the winner, assuming you live somewhere where anonymity is an option.

Staying anonymous might sound tempting – you could quietly accept the prize and move on with your life while enjoying the security that your new windfall provides. However, if you win a significant amount of money, it might be difficult to hide it for very long. Your change in fortune would soon become obvious if you started buying houses, cars and luxury items while going on five-star exotic holidays. All it would take is for one friend or acquaintance to tip off the papers, after which you’d find that you had quite a few guests waiting for you in the front garden!

Lottery officials often recommend that winners go public if only for the opportunity to get the press conference and media frenzy out of the way. Once you’ve answered questions from journalists and posed with the bottle of champagne, you can retreat to somewhere quiet and start processing the idea of becoming a millionaire. If you’re a charitable sort, you might want to use your 15 minutes of fame to highlight some of your favourite organisations, which will now benefit from some of your cash and additional exposure during the conference.

Opting for publicity or staying anonymous can be a difficult choice during an already overwhelming time in a lottery winner’s life, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you’ve won a jackpot or a significant prize, make sure that you’ve explored all the advantages and disadvantages before arranging to meet the media – or trying to hide details of your win.