In June of this year, a Jamaican woman won a lottery jackpot worth $1.4 million USD. When she picked up her check, she was wearing an emoji mask! This might sound weird but actually, it’s a smart move. Remaining anonymous is the best way for lottery winners to protect themselves from people hounding them for money.
Keeping your identity anonymous is an important principle for the safety of lottery winners. Unfortunately, many state lottery policies do not allow winners to remain anonymous. Instead, the lottery likes to use your identity for their promotional campaigns to advertise that winners are genuine residents of their neighborhood. While wearing a mask may seem a little strange at first, it can be a smart way to hide your identity.
When professional scammers or criminals know the details about lottery winners such as names, home addresses, and their appearance, the winners can easily be barraged with requests for money or even become targets of crime. Maintaining a low profile after you win big can be the most effective thing to do for the sake of your safety. It’s a way to preemptively ward off unwanted attention and potential crime. In the case of this woman, Jamaican lottery winners are afraid for their privacy due to the increasing rate of crime in their country. Getting instant wealth and sudden fame make them anxious that they may be targeted.
The emoji mask-wearing woman identified herself as N. Gary won $180.9 Million in Jamaican Dollars just 6 months after she started playing. She was encouraged by her friend to keep playing because she was always to close win, hitting four numbers. She believed that she would eventually hit all six numbers. Her confidence paid off. After winning, she told her local news reporters that she’s not planning to quit her job yet and will use her winning to pay off debt, make future investments, and travel. She wants to do some good for her community as well. She told the newspaper that she wants to build a community center for the youth in her community so that they can engage in something productive like Information Technology.
It’s good to know that she is not overwhelmed by her sudden wealth and she knows what she wants to do with her cash prize. Paying off debt, traveling, investing, charity, are all good ideas, but the next step is prioritizing these goals and setting spending limits. She will have to determine what's important in her life and what are the things she wants to experience. Read more tips on spending your lottery windfall here
Gary chose the lump sum option which can be a great choice. You can’t buy a home or make big investments with annual installments. Read more about choosing lump sum or annuity here