What Sharon Did With Her Jackpot

There are countless people who fantasize about winning the lottery, but not so many are able to achieve this dream. There are many determinants and hopeful candidates who keep working in the hopes of snagging the winning ticket… but what happens when someone finally gets their hands on it?

We asked Sharon, a 25 year old lottery winner from Staten Island to share the story of her big win just after graduating from university. This is what she had to say:

Osaka Japan neon lightsThere are countless people who fantasize about winning the lottery, but not so many are able to achieve this dream. There are many determinants and hopeful candidates who keep working in the hopes of snagging the winning ticket… but what happens when someone finally gets their hands on it?

We asked Sharon, a 25 year old lottery winner from London to share the story of her big win just after graduating from university. This is what she had to say:

“The very first thing I did after finding out and celebrating my big win with family members was put on a poker face. Not literally. What I basically did was rid my face of the ridiculous smile that was constantly there as a reminder of me winning the $11 million lotto. I was young, scared and paranoid, and this is when I realized that going around boasting about my win is not going to do any good. I changed my phone number immediately and installed an additional lock on my front door and a CCTV.

Like most students, I too had an educational loan, which was due at the time of my win. I had graduated at 23 and things were starting to look a little messy, considering I still had no job and a student loan due.

After settling my $50,000 student loan, the rush of joy I felt was unreal. This is when I realized how I could be of some help to another financially challenged family, struggling with their day-to-day expenses in the hopes of educating their children. After much research and collaboration with my university, I decided to fund a fellow junior with Multiple Sclerosis who was clearly financially burdened, as most of his money went in management of the disease.

Now that I was feeling good about having helped someone, I was more comfortable with the thought of splurging my money and this is when I brought home a brand new Tesla Model S 70, my dream car since forever! Of course, I didn’t stop there. What followed was a streak of expensive shopping hauls, ranging from clothes, jewelry, and furniture to cutlery and practically everything in between.

In addition to that, I took a trip to Osaka, Japan, something I’ve been wanting to do as a child. Coming back from Osaka, I knew it was time to get serious with my bank balance. On the second day of coming back to Staten Island, I contacted a financial professional, to help me draft a long-term plan and organize my resources accordingly.

He proposed numerous ideas, including emergency fund establishment and saving money in a high-interest savings account. For now, I have kept away all my savings in that account and will eventually decide whether I am ready to take a risk and invest in a business or not.

Before cashing the ticket, you have two primary options: take all the money at once in a lump sum payment or have it paid to you in 30 installments over 29 years. With the former option you will have to pay a big chunk of money in taxes, whereas you will be taxed only when you receive the payments in the latter option.

I went with the first one just because I was excited to have all the money at once, and to this day I don’t regret it. If you feel like you are not with cash handling or are paranoid about receiving a ton of money in one go, then the second option is obviously best for you. However, with the first one, you receive generous returns, especially if you decide to save it in the bank or if you want to establish a business.

I too hope to open a coffee shop one day but until then my $4.5 million are locked away safely in a savings account.”

Last Updated: December 5, 2018