Big Win in gold letters on a blue background with gold coins flying around.

Everyone dreams of achieving that big casino win but few people plan for it. Scoring a big win is an exhilarating experience but it comes with its own set of challenges, decisions and responsibilities. Whether you've hit the jackpot on the slots, had a lucky streak at the roulette wheel or cleaned up at the poker table, it's important to have a plan in place so you’ll be able to manage your extra cash.

Casino advisors offer a set of suggestions of steps to take if you find yourself a happy casino winner:

What Happens to Big Winners?

When we play casino games, we routinely think “what if…? What if I win big? What if I am given what seems like a limitless amount of money to spend on whatever I want? What if I’m in a position to substantially help others?

They say that money doesn’t buy happiness but it does go a long way to satisfy our needs and desires. Having said that, receiving a sudden influx of money can also be dangerous for people who don’t really know how to manage their finances, who don’t know how to say “no” and who don’t understand the basics of budgeting spending.

There are endless stories of people who blew millions of lottery or casino winnings in a short time, who ruined relationships with family and spouses and who ended their spending sprees penniless, homeless and friendless.

So how do you plan for a big Grande Vegas Casino win? Casino advisors say that the first step is to put your winnings in a bank account and refrain from touching it until you’ve worked out a strategy that will allow you to realize your goals without endangering the core principles that are important to you.

Guidance varies, depending on the financial advisor asked, but it’s essential that you have a strategy in place before you start spending.

Steps to Take

If you win big, the first thing that you have to remember is to keep your win as quiet as possible. Otherwise you’ll draw the attention of scammers.

In some cases, for instance, if you’ve won a national or state lottery, you may be required to show up in person to collect your check. This is the PR that the lottery needs to encourage other people to play and they milk it for all they can. But if you don’t need to publicize your win, don’t.

Scammers have a million and one scams that they’re ready to try to separate you from your money. They will track you down, on social media or through another source, and bombard you with “offers”, “assistance”, requests for help, offers to aid you in “paying taxes” or “invest”, etc. They’ll offer their services as financial advisors, insurance salespeople, bankers, etc.

You may not be able to avoid all of these scammers but if you’re quiet about your win, you can minimize the risk.


Get a tax attorney. Immediately. Laws regarding your obligations for national and/or state taxes are complex. If you make a mistake, it could end up costing you a significant amount of additional cost.

In addition, a good tax attorney might be able to help you minimize the taxes that you are expected to pay. But don’t avoid dealing with taxes on all levels – you’ll end up paying, one way or another.

Financial Advisor

When you choose a financial advisor, don’t go with the first one that crosses your radar. And especially, don’t choose a financial advisor who reaches out to you….there’s something creepy about that.

Ask for recommendations from people who you trust who have had experience with financial advisors. You can also search online for advisors in your area via professional organizations like the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) or the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board).

Ask to see the advisor’s credentials and ask for references. Follow up by calling those references. Focus on financial advisors who operate under a fiduciary standard, meaning that they are legally obligated to act in your best interests at all times and to provide advice that is most suitable for your financial situation.


Set up your budget. Are your winnings enough to enable you to quit work? Do you WANT to quit work? What will you be able to afford, while protecting your assets for the future? Do you want to gift some of your winnings to family, friends, organizations, etc? Write down everything that you want to do with your money and then strategize to make sure that you can do as much as possible while staying safe financially.

Winning the lottery can be a life-changing event. The way that you manage your newfound wealth will impact you for the rest of your life. If you plan thoughtfully, seek professional guidance, focus on the overall picture and stay grounded you can navigate the complexities of your win in a responsible matter so that you can look forward to a secure and fulfilling future.

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