Top concerns investors have about winning the lottery

By Personal FinanceFOXBusiness

5 things you can do to up your chances of winning lottery

Shopper's Market: 7-time grand prize winner shares tips

More than $850 million is up for grabs in two of the country’s biggest lottery drawings after the week yielded no winners.

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The Mega Million’s jackpot has ballooned to $548 million, while Powerball’s top prize is up to $314 million.

And while your chances are quite grim at a one-in-292.2-million shot for Powerball and one-in-302.6-million for the Mega Millions, the buzz around the jumbo jackpots not only brings out the non-gamblers but investors, too.

According to a new TD Ameritrade survey, 7 in 10 investors fantasize at least a few times a year about receiving an unexpected windfall of money.

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"While I’m intrigued that so many find this idea appealing, I’m pleased to learn that so many people are looking forward to saving or investing the money for their future," Chris Bohlsen, director of investor services at TD Ameritrade tells FOX Business.

"In fact, when we asked people what they would be most excited about winning the lottery, they’re much more excited about saving or investing than they are about quitting their jobs (21 percent and 9 percent, respectively)."

On average, he says, male investors spend $96 a year on lottery tickets, while women investors spend around $82.

But Wall Street seems to only perk up when the jackpot exceeds at least $100 million. For those who have $500,000-plus of investable assets already, the jackpot needs to be more than $250 million for them to buy a ticket.

Yet all respondents polled agreed that winning $1 million or $100 million jackpot would improve their lives overall.

When asked about what they would do with it, the top three answers were: Sharing the prize with others; saving and investing the money for the future; and quitting their jobs.

As for their biggest concerns about winnings, the top were family and friends coming for money, fear that “winning would change them as a person,” and lastly, choosing between a lump sum or regular payments.

Here are some common pitfalls that accompany winning the lottery, according to Bohlsen.

1. Stop and breathe – While experiencing a financial windfall may seem like a great “problem” to have, try not to act on your emotions. Avoid any impulses for the first couple of months, as acting on your emotions can lead to flawed thinking and potentially regretful financial decisions.

2. Protect the nest egg – It doesn’t take a business school degree to learn about personal finance and investing. Consider finding a trusted financial advisor to help you avoid the common financial pitfalls of sudden wealth. Go online to access free financial information and tools.

3. Keep eyes on the prize – Do some soul searching to figure out the best ways to use the newfound wealth. Is the goal to pay off debt, buy a new home or retire early? Think about the money in terms of how it can help you and your family achieve your goals and dreams. Make sure what you do is consistent with your vision for the money and that it aligns with your personal values.

4. Budget like a boss – The fundamentals of successful money management are the same for overnight millionaires as it is for those who build wealth the old-fashioned way. Stick to a budget and track expenses to see where the money is going. More money means budgeting and tracking expenses is more important than ever.

5. Pay it forward – Give a gift to future generations by protecting the financial windfall. Equipping family members to manage the wealth on their own starts by having open, ongoing discussions about money and financial responsibility. Determine upfront how you’ll handle requests for philanthropy and gifts to family and friends.