Lottery Winners Should Build a Financial Triad to Plan For the Future

Historically, lotteries have been an easy and popular method of raising funds for various projects. They have also been criticized as an addictive form of gambling. Many lottery players spend more on tickets than they win. In the long run, this can add up to thousands in forgone savings opportunities. Lotteries also have the potential to create a sense of entitlement in winners, which can lead to an early retirement or even bankruptcy.

The earliest records of lottery-like activities appear in the Low Countries in the first half of the 15th century, when towns used them to raise money for town fortifications and to help the poor. Lotteries were also used to finance many public projects in colonial America, including roads, canals, churches, libraries, universities and colleges, during the Revolutionary War and the French and Indian War.

Some experts suggest that you can increase your chances of winning by playing more frequently or buying a larger number of tickets. But the rules of probability dictate that this will only slightly improve your odds. Moreover, you can’t increase your odds of winning by choosing particular numbers that have sentimental value, such as the dates of your birth or other lucky numbers, because every number has an independent probability.

Lottery winners often blow their windfalls on extravagant purchases, or they risk being sued by creditors and debt collectors. To avoid this fate, a certified financial planner tells Business Insider that lottery winners should assemble a “financial triad” to help plan for their future.