Tuesday 12 December 2017

Charlie Weston: You've just won €88m Euromillions jackpot - so what do you do now?

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

You have hit the jackpot, in a big way.

You are the EuroMillions winner – or winners – who are about to get their hands on €88,587,275. So, what do you do? The sheer size of the win is likely to come as a shock to the newly-minted multi-millionaire and their family. That is why there are some key things the new mega-rich winner should do.

The first key bit of advice is to sign the ticket, and then to tell as few people as possible.

Although that may seem like a strange thing for a journalist to state, it is worth remembering that the pressure of dealing with such a massive windfall will be immense.

Add in the head-wrecking calls from headline-hungry journalists, countless donation-seeking charities, and distant relatives and old friends who want a slice of your good fortune, and it only gets harder to deal with new-found wealth.

News has a way of leaking out in this country, even in circumstances when everyone who is told the hot gossip has been sworn to secrecy.

That is why it may be wise not to lodge the bumper cheque in your local bank, even if that is only an interim plan. Seek out a foreign-based bank to avoid detection, is the advice.

Not that stuffing such a large deposit into an Irish bank will pay much anyway.

The sheer size of the windfall could pose a problem, says Simon Moynihan of price comparison site Bonkers.ie.

He said the highest rate for a big deposit is EBS’s High Yield Access Account which pays 0.40pc.

“This will pay our winner €354,000 per year, but with Dirt tax now at 39pc, the Government will take a big chunk of the interest and she or he will be left with just €216,000 per year – hardly what you’d expect on such a huge sum.”

The big banks, including AIB, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB, will happily take the €88.5m, but their standard demand deposit accounts only pay 0.01pc.

That will yield just €8,850 a year. And after Dirt, the winner will get just €5,400.

The really smart winner will invest most of the dosh.

Financial adviser John Lowe, known as the Money Doctor, says the key to investing is to diversify.

This means putting money into investment funds, property, collectables and gold.

Half of the winnings should be invested in stock-market related funds, he says. At least six different diversified funds should be chosen, covering everything from bonds and cash, to riskier assets like Asian shares.

Stock markets tend to have the best returns over time. Renowned investor Warren Buffett famously said: “The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient.”

Mr Lowe says that as well as the fun of owning fast cars and memorabilia, these can be good investments.

John Lennon’s guitar and Ringo Starr’s drum kit recently sold for more than €2m each. Assets like that are likely to appreciate. Mr Lowe also mentions an Aston Martin DB.

And winners are recommended to give at least 10pc to charity.

But for all the hoopla around the immense size of the EuroMillions win, it is worth remembering that money can’t get you everything in life.

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