What if…. You won the lottery? What would you do?

Driving home from work today I passed by a billboard with the Super 7 Jackpot advertised. $30 million dollars it displayed.. and the image repeated over and over again in my head until I arrived home. I remember seeing somewhere that nearly 1/3rd of all big lottery winners go bankrupt within 5 years. I guess it's not that hard to believe, not everyone is financially literate. What would I do if I won $30 Million? Here is my hypothetical plan in order:

  1. Change our home phone number then have our new number unlisted.
  2. Donate 10% to various charites ($3 million).
  3. Give away another 10% to family and friends ($3 million).
  4. Start a diversified dividend investment fund with 10% ($3 million) and donate the proceeds of the quarterly dividends to charity. This would work out to around $3 million * 4% annually = $120k / year (increasing annually).
  5. Pay off all my debts ~$200k.
  6. Buy a new house $400k.
  7. Buy a couple new cars $90k. Why not right? ;)
  8. Quit my job.
  9. Keep $300k in a regular chequing account for other toys, luxuries and travel.
  10. Perhaps take $5 million and invest in venture cap, franchise restaurants, and/or real estate.
  11. Take the remaining, which is approximately $15 million, spread it among various investment accounts (to account for the limited CIPF) and purchase strong dividend paying stocks among other income instruments. This would pay approximately $600k / year in dividends assuming an average 4% payout. This would be our yearly salary.
  12. Continue blogging, but change the domain name to 100MillionDollarJourney.com. :)

There you go! That's my plan! What would you do?

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Frugal Trader


FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.
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1 year ago

I’m from the UK so woohoo tax free winnings!

1- go get a financial advisor, lawyer and whatever.
2- go on holiday with my family and decide what we want to do
3 – invest some
4 – buy myself and my parents a house
5 – pay off debts
6 – probably get a 1964 Austin mini cos i love them, and a big car to go camping in different countries.
7 – get liposuction and a boob job and a gym membership
8 – I’m a lil less fat now so I’m gonna splurge on covering the rest of myself in tattoos from neck to feet from the best artists
9 – still shop at primary (cheap shop in UK)
10 – open a cupcake/confectionary business and do it part time on market stalls

Joe Alta
5 years ago

Pay off my parents debt. have not been blessed with any kids although I am abundantly blessed with nephews & nieces so college funds 4 all. Education is a good investment, couple charities dad battling prostate cancer, mom lost eye sight of her right eye due to glaucoma bout 20 yrs ago. Assist our War Veterans that end up homeless and disabled.

Raymond Smullen
6 years ago

I would buy my wife her dream house so she will not have to worry about having a place to live for the rest of her life after I am gone. Also donate some to cancer research and to a children’s hospital.

miss g.
6 years ago

if i won the 60 mill, came out with 20 mill, i would put 10 mill in a bank with the 8% interest rate,to live on. then buy 5 mill in war and government bonds, for retirement. then i would sell my home, im already debt free and buy 6 fixer upper homes, under 100,000 invest another 50,000 into them, fixing them up= 900,000,insure them fully and carry a note on 5 homes, liveing in 1, use that money to reinvest in 5 more homes a year for tax purposes, which i would keep turning over, generateing more cash to start another interest bearing account for my kids. and with the 4 mill, thats left, i would buy me a used surburban, buy a vacation time share, and do a little shopping.

8 years ago

I”ll give my thithe in church & partner with a few programs that are making a difference in the world as a thank you to God for granting my wish.

I’ll invest some of it, pay all my debts, build houses for my mom & sister, a house for my granma and the grand kids she’s looking after, a house for my aunt, a house for my step mom & siblings, a house for my father in law and a house for my aunt in law & her grand kids and a house for me, my husband & son. get us a car

i’ll help pay for my siblings and cousins school fees and help those family members who are struggling to get by, to start their own businesses or study further and get qualifications.

Once that is done, i want to live the rest of my life helping teen moms who come from poor backrounds to study further and make a better life for themselves & their kids, give them a place to stay (for those who doesnt have it) and a place to keep their children during the day. help educate about avoiding teen pregnancy. this includes child headed homes.

Help my husband start a reharb for those who cant afford to pay to go to reharb. help bring more awareness about the dangers of drugs.

8 years ago

Easy stuff if I won millions in the lottery.
1. Contact lawyer, financial advisor
2. Take first flight to Zurich to open my swiss account.
3. Wire most of the money there
4. Stay over there for at least a few years to let things cool down.
5. Invest in various funds.mutuals, cd’s etc..
6. Return to the states to do the normal things, help family, etc..

Most of my money would not be in a US bank.. Leave no trace.. perhaps a few 100K for expenses and such. That way if your ever in legal trouble, lawsuits, the money cannot be touched provided you did not break any criminal laws.
Most likely reside in my newly purchased Alipine house in the Alps, where I know my money and lifestyle would be safe and secure.

8 years ago

Well first thing I would do is contact a few doctors and dentists and get every tooth pulled out of my mouth. And have new ones screwed in. I’m only 28 but I have had 3 compleat sets of teeth taken out of my mouth on on my 4th set of teeth. I’m talking about real teeth here not fake. Dose anyone know what it’s like to have all your wisdome teeth ripped out 3 times it hurts like hell especially when freezing doesn’t work on you and your awake for all of it
The rest of the money I would just give it away to people like me who need there teeth fixed. I have been taking so many pain killers I have destroyed my stomach and. Teeth abscess and pain can kill you change your life
I have never had a smile to be proud of. And anyone who would fix my teeth for me is welcome to. I don’t want money I want my life back nothing more just a smile will do thanks

narayan nath
8 years ago

If I won the lottery…I will make a hospital.

9 years ago


True that the lottery organizers want the advertising but look at how long it takes for people to come forward, you have upto 6 months or a year in some cases (although in some if you dont come forward quick enough they will make your price an annuity comparred to lump sum).

You will almost certainly have to come to the media event…BUT…theres no law saying you have to be clean shaved, not wearing sunglasses, or a wig, or hoodie or even fat suit or lifts.

You can avoid a lot of stuff and my recommendation is for immediatly winning, not immediatly claiming, you should have an estate laywer, accountant and financial advisor.

You create a trust to take the cash (in effect you become the CEO), you then get your investments in place, your finances for the first year or so in cash available, and get your will sorted out, which can be creating accounts for the kids education which cant be touched if you dropped dead the next day.

When you have your things in order you can then look at helping your family/friends if you choose (not everyone gets on with family or even have many friends).

You can do all this without spending much more then the first few hours of help from the various professionals and therapist to help you cope mentally with whats going to happen, and they all have privacy laws so they cant tell anyone or they are going to be in trouble and probably lose their jobs.

You goto a financial manager with a story about coming into $2M in inheritance and get to ask your list of questions like experience with high net worth people, recommended splits of investments, what kind of risk for your age/comfort level.

When you talk to an accontant its the same deal but they will be the person you send your receipts to every month ready for tax day, they need good experience and you need a list of clients happy with their work and do some googling on all of them to make you feel safer.

This is time consuming and can be difficult while your going through the honeymoon stage of sudden wealth but you can take months if you have the resources before claiming to do it.

If you dont then consider selling some stuff from your home you wont be needing when you move, get enough cash to survive, take some time off work calling it vacation or a private family matter etc.

You have in most lotteries 90 to 365 days to claim but as long as your ticket is in a SDB, you should feel calmer and remember ‘YOU ARE A MILLIONAIRE’ your just chooseing when to claim, dont be pushed by the stories of lost interest or other BS like that, betetr to get your ducks in order then to rush it and like running across the highway with your eyes closed your looking at a big likelihood of being hit by something.

It will be the hardest to not tell your spouse if you have one or gf/bf, you might feel very guilty but this is the most important steps you can make which will make the rest of your life, to look back at the fact you did something right or messed it up, listened to nobody and 5 years later after moving several times to get away from the leeches that came crawling out from the woodwork and the hell that is media snooping (look at whats going on in england right now and expect most of that to happen or people to try to get to you like that).

Prepare now for later, maybe not like these people preparing for the zombie holocaust but more preparation is less mistakes and a happier experience.

9 years ago

@Jason: “First thing which can be the hardest is not to tell anyone…”

Sorry, doesn’t happen that way any longer.
Once you claim your jackpot the lotto corp. already has the press on speed dial. It’s good for biz, y’know, to have people winning YOUR lottery on the front page.

That’s the thing with the modern age, everyone has to know everything.