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4 Ways to Spend Lottery Winnings

The news is abuzz lately with lottery stories as the latest winners are claiming their prizes and finding themselves with the world at their newly wealthy fingertips. Stories regarding the lottery range from the anonymous to the heartwarming to the random to the very, very lucky. No matter who you are, you've doubtless wondered at one point or another what YOU would do if you became the sudden recipient of millions of dollars. Here's a few ideas of what you could do if you ever find yourself in that enviable position.

Travel

Ever wanted to see every country in the world? Well, as a mega-millionaire, there's no reason not to satisfy your wanderlust and start packing your brand new designer luggage. For one thing, you won't need to worry about having enough vacation time. You don't need to work for a paycheck anymore! Also, don't bother waiting in line at the airport — just drop a few mill for your own private jet. If you prefer to travel via the road, a garage full of your favorite sports cars is a good way to keep it interesting. Or, invest in a luxurious, customized RV if you want the convenience of having a hotel on wheels. Pull out a map and a sharpie, circle your desired destinations and start checking them off.

Buy a new home

Don't worry about paying off the mortgage at your current home or making rent next month at your apartment — sell it all and buy yourself a beach home. Or an entire beach. Or a secluded mansion in the mountains. Or a ranch. Or all of the above. If you buy a few homes in exotic locations you'll make traveling that much better for yourself. Spend summer in the mountains and winter in the Bahamas. If you're feeling generous, you can let your friends and family visit you or stay in the residences you're not using at the time. Then again, you should probably be careful what types of friends you pick up now that you're a mega-millionaire — don't let anyone abuse the relationship!

Invest

If you've ever wanted to play the stock market but worried about the risk, now is the time to stop worrying and start investing! Dedicating even a small portion of your earnings to investments can pay off big time in the end — not that you need the extra money. If you want to make it a hobby, learn the ins and outs of the market and try your hand and making a profit off your own investment. If you're not interested in the mundane details, hire investors to manage your investments for you. They get paid to do their jobs, you reap the rewards — everyone's a winner. Who knows? Maybe you'll get lucky gambling on the next Apple or Google start-up.

Donate

Feeling altruistic? You've never had a better time to act on those charitable desires than right now. Some winners give away a smaller percentage of their fat new chunk of change, while other winners give almost all of it away. You can donate all in one place to an organization you believe in or spread it out to several places. Don't forget your close friends and family before you donate to outside organizations, either. Set up college funds for your children and all 13 nieces and nephews. Buy your parents a new home and a couple cars. Get your sister every Prada bag she ever wanted. You might discover that spending money on other people is just as, if not more, satisfying than spending it on yourself.