What to Do When You Win the Lottery by Cathy Bussey

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What to Do When You Win the Lottery by Cathy Bussey

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Category: Business and Finance
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The title is a little deceptive in that there's a lot more to the book than just what to do when you've won. It's readable and entertaining.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 320 Date: March 2012
Publisher: Golden Guides Press
ISBN: 978-1780950013

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You might wonder quite why someone who doesn't play the lottery is reading a book called What to Do When You Win the Lottery. Well, the answer is simple: it struck me that winning the lottery was not the only way in which people were likely to come into a large sum of money - there are other forms of gambling, inheritance or even redundancy, to name but a few. My inner money person mentioned that most people think that coming into money is the answer to all their problems without realising that it needs active management just like any other life-changing event.

The usual problem which I encounter with books is that the title hints at rather more than the contents deliver. Here it's the other way round and I was surprised that the title wasn't more far reaching, but I was hard pressed to think of a suitably snappy title which encompasses all that you need to know before you even think about playing the lottery and certainly if you're playing as part of a syndicate. It's all delivered in language that anyone can understand but leaves you in no doubt that playing as part of a syndicate without a formal agreement can seriously damage your financial health.

There's a useful guide to all the different ways you can play the National Lottery and a warning against the claims which people make about their system which will come up with the winning numbers. Worth reading too is the information about scam emails: it's a double whammy to find that the email which said that you'd won big time was a scam and that your Bank account has now been emptied. But what about when (or rather if) you win big time?

The step-by-step guide to the process of getting the win into your Bank account - including what not to do and who you would be wise not to trust - is comprehensive, even going through what to do if you've lost the ticket. Perhaps more important are the reactions you can expect - your own and other people's. You're going to need help, from accountants and financial advisers through to counsellors and there's a useful list of contacts at the back of the book. This is all backed by anecdotes about the people who've been there already. The sections about how you can spend you money - even down to the situation if you've only won a million are tantalising and enjoyable.

If I have a major quibble with the book it came forcefully to mind here:

If you don't take part, you cannot win a penny, but it could take as little as £1 to make you a millionaire, and isn't that a price worth paying?

Well, I'm afraid that for me it isn't. It's never quite said but there's an idea that runs through the book like a watermark. It's the feeling that I've just got to take a £1 coin down to the Co-op, buy my first ticket and I'll be on my way to riches beyond the dreams of Avarice, whoever she might be. Of course, it might happen, but the probability is that it won't. Why? Well, the odds against winning the jackpot are just shy of 1 in 14,000,000 and even if you're only looking at the chances of winning the minimum £10 prize then the odds are still only 1 in 56. You could do better with Premium Bonds - and you 'stake' is still yours when you want to stop playing. I would have liked this side of the lottery to be explained too - but then that wouldn't have fit in with the title either!

If you come into a substantial sum of money it's a book that's well worth reading and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

With substantial sums of money at your disposal you'll find a Tax Guide invaluable. You might also need to think about tax havens. There's also some food for thought if you were thinking of investing in property.

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Buy What to Do When You Win the Lottery by Cathy Bussey at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy What to Do When You Win the Lottery by Cathy Bussey at Amazon.com.


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Margaret Wilde said:

Well this book certainly looks a good book to buy if ever I do win a substantial sum on the lottery. But as far as syndicates go, I think the 2012 TV serial "The Syndicate" certainly put me off, and also put me off opting for publicity should I ever win.

Margaret Wilde