For more than six months and 62 games, the Irish Lotto jackpot went unwon.
Tonight though, given the announcement that the full value of the top prize would flow down to the next prize tier if there was no outright winner, someone in Ireland was guaranteed go to bed €19.06m richer than they woke up this morning.
Here’s a look at what the National Lottery's advice to winners is, just you have become the country’s newest multi-millionaire.
The first thing you need to do is resist the urge to run out your front door roaring in celebration.
“Winning a large sum of money can really make a difference to your life but deciding what to do next needs some cool, calm thinking,” the Lotto’s advice reads.
“So, you need a little space and time for things to settle down before you do anything. You might even want to get away somewhere for a few days to think things over.”
According to experts, the next course of action is to move your winnings into an instant-access account with a bank or a building society, as you take your time to fully come to terms with your victory.
In fact, most recognised banks in Ireland employ members of staff trained to assist Lotto winners.
Once your funds are safe and secure in your account, you can also ask your bank's advisor for help on how to begin spending or investing some of what you’ve won.
Thereafter, the Lotto’s advice is to do something nice for yourself and/or those close to you.
"It’s a nice feeling, having the financial security of a jackpot win and you may even consider spending a small amount of the money to treat yourself, or throw a party for family and friends."
The Lotto’s next piece of advice encourages winners to think about how best to make the most of their windfall.
Consider how you might involve family and close friends.
"Money isn’t everything," the Lotto's advice reads. "Your friends and family are probably just as important to your future happiness.”
Next, your best bet is to make a list if priorities and ambitions. To help with this, the Lotto says these are some questions to think about:
- What do you want to do with your money at this moment?
- How do you see your needs changing over time?
- What are your ambitions?
Draw up a shorter list initially, putting a rough cost estimate beside each. Then, step away from your list for a day or two.
When you return, see if you feel differently about what you have jotted down. If you don't you have a basis to work from.
Winning so much money is likely to feel somewhat overwhelming, both at the beginning and later.
The Lotto expert's advice is to make any changes gradually, allowing yourself to get used to them more easily.
Choose your financial advisors carefully, and make sure that you feel you can trust them.
"You’ll probably get more advice than you ever asked for," the Lotto's says.
"It’s fine to ask your advisors to explain things in plain English and not to make decisions until you feel you understand the consequences. It’s your money, after all."
The Lotto also offers some tips on selecting the right professional advisor:
- Meet with a few financial planners, find out about the services they offer and the names of the people they work with.
- Check their industry qualifications and contact their professional bodies to check that they are authorised to advise you.
- Get them to explain their fees so you know exactly what you’ll be charged for. Ask for references and talk to some of the advisors’ clients. Good advisors will not mind you doing this. Make sure you feel comfortable with them.
- Make sure you feel comfortable with them.
Once you’ve decided on your advisor, they will ask you about your needs and goals, your desires for investing, and what type of investor you would like to be.
"A good advisor will find investments that match your personality and help you reach your goals at your own pace. They will make a plan to make your money work best for you," the Lotto's expert says.
"They will also provide assistance in implementing your agreed plan together with follow-up reviews and consultation."
Keep a sum of money for your everyday needs and choose a high-interest account for the rest. Make your money work for you Pay off debts Pay off any existing debts you have and give yourself a clean slate moving forward.
Life assurance helps pay off any liabilities due on your home and provides for your family in the unfortunate event of your death. The Lotto says this is the sensible choice for most people "because it gives them the peace of mind to know that their family will be taken care of and won’t have to sell their assets to pay bills due on their death."
"Leave yourself enough readily available cash for everyday expenses plus a decent sum for emergencies. Don’t invest everything. You should be able to access your cash easily when you need it," the National Lottery says.
When one of your investments does well it’s tempting to invest more in it. But the Lotto's expert advises against this.
"You probably don’t want all your financial plans depending on just one asset. What if its value falls? Most investors put their money into a variety of investment groups. Then they make sure they have a variety of holdings within each so that their risks are well spread."
Yes, your winnings are completely tax-free, but any income you earn by investing them is taxable.
The Lotto says your chosen financial advisor will take you through the details of this.
The Lotto’s last piece of advice relates to charitable donations.
The advice here is to not feel pressured into donating anything right away, even if you are inundated with requests to do so.
If you do wish to give, choose a charity you have some sort of familiarity or association with. If you want to give further afield, ask your chosen charity for some information about their work and what the money is spent on.
"Registered charities should send you brochures explaining what they do. Don’t rush to share your wealth with people and organisations you don’t know, just decide what’s best for you and the things you care about," the Lotto's expert says.
"Remember, making a difference to people’s lives, communities and the world can be incredibly rewarding but no one said you had to change the world just because you’re a winner."