Record-breaking $100M up for grabs in Lotto Max
Published Friday, July 6, 2012 1:23PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, July 6, 2012 11:14PM EDT
A record-breaking $100 million was up for grabs in Friday night's Lotto Max draw has Canadians flocking to buy tickets for their chance at the jackpot.
The odds may be slim, with about a one in 28,663,000 chance of winning, but the combination of a single $50-million prize plus 50 $1-million prizes makes tonight’s draw the richest lottery in Canadian history.
This marks the fourth week that a big jackpot has been up for grabs, as no winning tickets were purchased during previous draws.
While Canadians may be dreaming about what to do with their winnings, one financial planner warns that coming into that kind of cash is not always what it’s cracked up to be.
“If you look at the stats, winning the lottery could be one of the worst things that ever happens to you as an individual,” financial planner Peter Merrick told CTV News Channel Friday. “No one in your family and none of your social network can deal with someone coming into that money.”
Merrick said that while quitting your job and buying a slew of exotic cars may seem like a good move, he suggested that all purchases should be put on the backburner – at least for the short-term.
“What I’m going to suggest with anybody is they have to sit down and say I’m going to take a big breath and take a lesson in emotional intelligence and not do anything crazy,” said Merrick.
He said lottery-winners should not touch their winning for at least 30 to 60 days and they shouldn’t make any big decisions for at least six months.
During that time, putting the majority of the winnings in a short-term investment and seeking professional advice is a must, said Merrick.
He added that more often than not, turning to the financial professional they’re currently dealing with is not the best option.
“Do a real search,” he said. “You have to go with planners who deal with people who have that type of wealth, because it’s not going to be the person at the local bank branch.”
Merrick also pointed Lotto Max is permitted to give out lotto winners’ names.
“You don’t have to have a press conference or do anything like that, but a lot of people are going to be coming out of the woodwork,” he said.
Merrick warned that holding on to that kind wealth is harder than expected and it’s not uncommon for individuals who win multi-millions to find themselves penniless a few years down the road.
“They weren’t prepared for it,” he said. “There’s that old saying, ‘you can’t keep what you have not earned,’ meaning that you are going to have to put the effort in to manage this money.”