7 Things You Need to Know Before You Win Your First Casino Jackpot
Winning an enormous casino jackpot is a lifelong dream for many casino gamblers. We rush off to the casinos on our adventures in hopes of one day striking it rich.
Many experts will tell you what a waste of time that is and how you’re chasing pipe dreams. I don’t disagree that the likelihood of ever ringing up a casino jackpot is overwhelmingly against you.
However, I would never label such a fun and rewarding entertainment option as a waste of time. Life can be challenging; juggling work, family, friends, hobbies, and other responsibilities can take a toll on anyone.
So, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of relaxation and fun to get your mind off of things for a few hours. It’s actually essential for our physical and mental well-being to engage in such activities.
Still, winning a tremendous casino jackpot will come with its own level of stress. Here are 7 things you need to know before you win your first casino jackpot.
Casino Jackpots Can be Life-Altering Events
Winning any amount of money in a casino is going to feel like a huge success. You’ll be inclined to tell your story of victory to coworkers, friends, family, and even complete strangers.
I keep my personal finances as just that, private, but to each their own.
However, when you win a casino jackpot, the stakes are raised significantly. In some cases, the prizes could spell an early retirement or instant access into the millionaires’ club.
Regardless of your prize being $100k or $10,000,000, life is going to change. There will be initial jubilation that will have you wanted to scream of your success from the tallest buildings.
I suggest you temper that urge and focus on the following steps to take. Don’t negate an opportunity to enjoy the money; merely do so in a confidential manner.
Unfortunately, that may prove to be more complicated than it needs to be.
1 – How the Casino Pays You
One of the most fantastic casino experiences you will ever have in a casino is the moments after you’ve won a jackpot.
The casino will be alerted to your substantial win before you have the time to process what just took place. By the moment the reality of the situation begins to set in, you will likely be greeted by casino personnel to congratulate you on your luck and start the elaborate process that follows.
The casino will give you several options on how you’d like your winnings. Typically, cash, check, bank transfer, and casino chips are your choices.
You may be heavily steered into accepting the cash option or even the casino chips, but that’s playing right into the casino’s hand. They’d love for you to rashly begin tossing money around without a care in the world.
Instead, take a significant portion of your winnings in the form of a check or, better yet, via bank transfer. That will leave you a tiny amount of cash to celebrate with but eliminates getting into much trouble purchasing a new supercar. At the same time, you’re still high from the win.
2 – Don’t Blow Your Cash Before Accounting for the IRS
Before the casino pays you a dime, they’ll require you to fill out several forms to be filed for the taxes on your winnings. Yes, your gambling winning is subject to federal tax. The casino will usually simplify this process by taking a flat 27% to cover the bill.
Don’t protest or let it ruin your time; 73% of your jackpot is still going to be a handsome payday. More importantly, should the casino fail to take any withholdings for taxes, the burden falls on you.
So, don’t blow through your cash, or you’ll have some legal issues facing you. Depending on what state you’re in, there could also be state income taxes withheld from your winnings.
Again, you just came into a boatload of free money; enjoy the win.
To qualify for taxation, there are some guidelines that seem to be standard for any casino you’re visiting in the U.S. For slots wins, anything over $1200 qualifies as gambling winnings with the IRS.
That figure is $5000 for tournament poker, and other games typically say anything over $600, with the payout being 300x the original wager.
3 – You’re Going to Become an Instant VIP
The moment you win a casino jackpot, you’re going to become a celebrity. Casino staff will rush over to greet you and whisk you away for photo opportunities.
You’ll shake hands, drink champagne, and hold an enormous check worth a ton of money. It sounds like a pretty extraordinary adventure.
However, the VIP treatment doesn’t stop there. The casino will throw lavish perks at you as a way to keep you gambling for as long as possible.
Free meals in their finest restaurants, cashback bonuses, free stays in the hotel, and a private casino host are only a few of the casino perks you’ll enjoy.
By all means, indulge yourself and make the most of your 15 minutes, but remember the actual cost of such amenities. The casino wants a shot at winning their money back.
You’re under no obligation to gamble away your winnings. But understand that if you’re not playing in the casino, the rock-star lifestyle will come to an end.
Enjoy everything being doled out to you, but don’t expect it to last forever.
4 – The Money Will Make You Forget You Financial Woes
Look, anybody that instantly came into a large sum of money will want to splurge a little bit. Before you do that, I recommend you honestly evaluate your financial situation.
Suppose you’re facing crippling debt, late on your mortgage, and the repo man has been circling the block looking for the lease you have stashed in the garage. In that case, your winnings may barely be enough to drag yourself out of the hole.
So, it wouldn’t make any sense to go on a weeklong Vegas vacation where you blow half of the jackpot. Then again, it wouldn’t make much sense to be in the casino in the first place.
Don’t let the dollar signs go immediately to your head. Taking a moment to consider how the money can improve your financial situation should be at the forefront of your mind, not spending thousands on a lavish shopping spree.
5 – You’ll Have to Contend with the People Looking for a Handout
It may not matter whether your jackpot is for $5,000 or $5,000,000. When word gets out of your sudden good fortune, others will want a piece of the pie.
Depending on your good nature or naivety, the money could disappear in a flash with little to show. It’s okay to tell people “no.”
Your only obligation is to your immediate family. So, your daughter asking for the braces she’s needed for the last 4 years is probably a go.
Your second cousin’s ex-wife asking for breast augmentation funds should be a pass.
It’s a slippery slope, and you’ll probably have to hurt some feelings. If someone gets twisted up because you won’t give them money, do you really care?
If you won a substantial pile of money, others might approach you with “amazing” investment opportunities. Unless you’re qualified to know what, a good investment is or maybe, it’s better to have a professional look into these.
6 – Make Sure You Place a Solid Financial Plan in Motion
One excellent way to avoid these uncomfortable situations is by hiring a financial professional. Allow this person to act as your “no” buffer.
More importantly, have them set up a financial plan to secure your future well-being. Most of us dream of winning a prize in excess of $10 million and never having to work again but wouldn’t have the faintest clue about how to make that happen.
Hiring a professional to handle everything from your taxes to your investments is the best avenue for making your money work for you.
Set yourself up for success, and you could be living the remainder of your days on easy street.
7 – Don’t Forget to Enjoy the Entire Experience
One of the most vital things to remember during the initial win and the following days is to enjoy the experience as a whole. You’re living the dream of most casino gamblers; one very few ever have the chance to relish.
Slow down and find moments to reflect on precisely what your accomplishment means. This time will also serve you well as you process who to share your lucky break with and when to celebrate.
While the temptation to call your boss and quit may be strong, but there’s plenty of time to do that when you get home. You may do a complete about-face and decide to stay on with your employer.
Have fun with the experience; it’s one in a lifetime.
Winning a monstrous jackpot cab be overwhelming. It may feel like the entire process is rushed, but there’s simply a lot to do in order to ensure all the boxes are checked along the way.
Being armed with the 7 things you need to know before you win your first casino jackpot can make the entire ordeal much easier to process. Now that you have them, the only thing left to do is to win a jackpot.