$50M jackpot with 55 $1M prizes up for grabs tonight
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, June 25, 2010 5:03PM EDT
TORONTO - Don't blow it.
That's the advice from financial gurus for anyone who strikes it rich in Friday night's lottery.
A record $105 million in prize money is on the line -- the $50 million Lotto Max jackpot and 55 separate $1 million Maxmillion draws.
Adrian Mastracci, portfolio manager at KCM Wealth Management, says it's easy for instant millionaires to let money slip through their fingers.
The Internet is rife with stories of big jackpot winners who went broke by gambling, going on wild spending sprees or giving away their winnings. Some have even been murdered.
Lottery winners need a solid financial plan to decide what to do with their new-found wealth, Mastracci said from his Vancouver office.
"One of the first things to do is maybe (go on) that holiday you haven't had in awhile," he said.
"After that you might do something for a family member. Maybe there is a loan that needs paying. Perhaps there's a little charitable donation that you can make."
The RRSP and Tax-Free Savings Account may need topping up, he said. He also recommends putting money into a long-term portfolio for retirement.
Put the rest of the money aside for several months, he said, so there's enough time to figure out a game plan with the help of a financial adviser, accountant and lawyer.
Don McNay, a syndicated columnist and author of "Son of a Son of a Gambler: Winners, Losers and What to Do When You Win the Lottery" likens a lottery win to starting a business.
"You want to have a clear structure in place before you go forward," McNay said from Lexington, Ky.
"Ninety per cent of people who get the lottery will dissipate all the money within five years or less. Four years is actually the average."
Family and friends borrowing money are a problem, he said. Change in lifestyle is another, with new millionaires funding trips and other expenses so friends can join in.
"The fact that the money came quickly and you weren't expecting it, it tends to go out very quickly as well," he said.
McNay stresses it's important to find a financial adviser who has worked with more money than the lottery winner is pocketing.
"If you win $50 million tonight, I'd like you to have someone who's worked with $100 million," he said.
What not to do if you win the lottery?
McNay points to West Virginia businessman Jack Whittaker Jr. He won the US$315 million Powerball multi-state lottery on December 25, 2002, and took the cash option of $114 million.
"He started doing things like bringing $600,000 in cash to strip clubs and was robbed. He ran through most of the money in a very short period of time because he didn't have a long-term goal."
It's the fourth straight week the Lotto Max jackpot has hit the maximum.
More than $74 million in tickets have been sold across the country, up 8.1 per cent from last week, according to The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.
OLG expects results won't be ready until about 7 a.m. ET Saturday because of the large number of draws.