10 Nov SMDH: This Is Why You Don’t Post Winning Lottery Numbers on Facebook!
Down in Australia, one young woman serves as a cautionary tale for the social media age. Many young people have an instinctive desire to take selfies, but the wrong selfie can have very real consequences. That’s a lesson Chantelle from Perth, Australia discovered for herself after an unfortunate selfie cost her $825.
Chantelle and some friends went to the Melbourne Cup horse race, and she decided to place a bet for the first time in her life. To her surprise, her $20 bet on the Prince Of Penzance paid off at 101-1 odds. As soon as she won, she instantly posted a beaming selfie holding her winning ticket.
Little did she know the ticket contained a barcode that can be scanned on automated cash machines. Unfortunately for her, one of her Facebook friends did know that. When she went to claim her prize, she discovered that someone had already taken her winnings for themselves. What’s worse, because her profile is set to private, she knows that the horse thief who betrayed her is someone she knows.
“To the low life who is obviously my friend on Facebook and used my photo to claim our winnings. You’re a massive d***. You ruined my day,” she wrote on Facebook.
A local radio station interviewed Chantelle about the drama, and the police told her they’re confident they’ll identify the culprit.
Advice for Lottery Winners
So what can we learn from Chantelle’s cautionary tale? First off, don’t post pictures of winning lottery tickets or betting slips online! Think before you post. More importantly, the story shows that the reality of winning isn’t as simple as your daydreams.
After receiving a large cash windfall, like winning the lottery or a large structured settlement, many people are shocked at the amount of red tape. Not only are there complex tax codes to follow, but some payments can only be claimed as an annuity. That means rather than receiving a large sum of cash now, you receive a limited amount each month. For instance, the famous Mega Millions prize includes one lump sum followed by 29 annual payments, with the smallest payments coming first. Annuities payments managed by a financial institution also come with fees, usually 3% a year or 2% for variable annuities.
While annuities have some benefits (they can sometimes help you avoid the maximum 35% tax rate), many people decide to sell annuity payments for cash. And it’s not always about satisfying a lotto daydream. Bills, student loans, mortgage payments, and emergencies sometimes require you to get cash for your structured settlement or lottery annuity, and those are just a handful of reasons people often sell annuity payments.
And like our advice for selfies, we have the same advice for anyone on the receiving end of an annuity settlement. Think long and hard about what’s best for you and yours. If you need to get cash for settlements, weigh all the pros and cons before you sell annuity payments. At the same time, don’t settle for a monthly annuity settlement if you need your money now.