Five questions Mega Moolah jackpot winners want answers to
Let's now imagine that you have decided to have a few spins on the Mega Moolah slot. After a few spins, you hit spin, the reels stop and then the Jackpot Bonus Game appears. No big deal, you've had it appear several times and only ever landed the Mini jackpots, so you spin it and then watch as the wheel slows down and comes to a halt in the white sector.
That's the Mega Jackpot sector.
All of a sudden, things go crazy, the screen lights up with what appears to be a telephone number or a code, only it isn't, that is the amount of money that you have just won. You're shaking, you can't believe it has happened to you, you're worried that it isn't real. As it is, everything feels surreal.
Later on your phone rings, it is the casino calling you to confirm your details and to inform you of what steps to take next in order to process your life-changing win.
If you are ever lucky enough to be in this position, the good news is that your casino operator will be able to guide you through the process you need to follow in order to claim your winnings. However, there are some questions you need to consider at this point and it may well be wise to think about them now in the cold light of day, rather than relying on your mind to remember them when it is in a state of shock at your win.
Some of the key questions you need to consider if you are a big winner are:
- Do you want to go public with your win, or remain anonymous?
One of your rights as a winner is to inform the casino whether you wish to go public with your win, or whether you would prefer your details to be kept anonymous. It is worth thinking clearly about this before you are ever asked this question to decide what is your preferred choice.
On the one hand, it would be lovely to see your name published across the media as the next big Mega Moolah winner. You would be preserved in internet gaming history as one of the lucky big winners of the game.
Anonymity gives you the option to avoid some of that, although it is likely that many people will get to hear about your good fortune just through family and friends alone. So it won't eliminate the chances of people contacting you completely.
It is sensible to have decided what you are going to do in the cold light of day before a big win occurs when it comes to your anonymity, as you don't want to rush into a decision after winning and then come to regret it later.
- How much have I won exactly?
This may seem a silly question, you've just won the Mega Moolah progressive jackpot top prize and you have a guaranteed cash prize of at least a million and likely much, much more than that. However, there are rules regarding currencies and pay outs that you should be aware of.
Mega Moolah uses British Pounds as its base currency but if you play from outside of the UK in any country that uses a different form of currency, then your win will most likely be in your own currency. So in Canada it is Canadian dollars, in many parts of Europe, it is the Euro, and so on.
When a player wins the Mega Moolah jackpot in their own currency that is not British Pounds then the amount you receive is the same numerical amount. So if the Mega Moolah jackpot was 5,000,000 and you won the prize in New Zealand then you would receive five million in New Zealand dollars - not five million pounds.
However, five million New Zealand dollars is not the same amount of money as ten million Great British Pounds. At the current exchange rate, 1.00 New Zealand Dollar equals 0.52 British Pounds.
This means that of the £5,000,000 in the prize pool, you would win the equivalent of £2,419,028 from the jackpot fund. The remaining amount would remain in the fund.
This may seem unfair initially, but you have to remember, as a New Zealand player your 0.25 wager is worth less than a 0.25 wager from a UK-based player. So although the amounts you win when compared are different, they still scale up to be the same based on your initial bet.
- Is this money all mine or will I owe the tax services a chunk?
This is arguably one of the most important things to consider when you have won a very large amount of money and there is no one simple answer to this question, other than your tax liability on the win depends entirely on where you live.
The bad news is that players in some countries will pay tax on their winnings. While the Mega Moolah game is not available in the United States, but just as an example - a big jackpot winner there would have to declare their winnings. In some establishments throughout the US, casinos will withhold this money from your pay out. In general, the tax amount you will have to pay in the United States is stated as 25% of your winning amount, but this is only up to a certain threshold.
The top rate of tax in the US is 35% and with your winnings likely to fall into that category, you may need to pay the larger percentage The problem in the US is exacerbated by the fact that you may also need to pay a state and local tax on your winnings depending on which state you live in the US. In some states, this can mean a total tax pay out of around 43% of your winnings.
The good news is that there are several countries such as Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom where tax is not payable on a Mega Moolah jackpot win, which would mean that you get to keep the full amount. This is because these tax systems view big wins as a lucky windfall rather than as income, and as such, their winnings are not taxed.
However, with tax laws being entirely dependent upon the country and state in which you live, and the fact that they are being constantly updated, I would strongly suggest that any big jackpot winner immediately seeks professional advice from a tax expert in your own country to ascertain whether or not you need to contact the tax man following your win.
- How long do I need to wait from the time I'm informed of my win, until the money is in my account ready to spend?
The last thing you want to do when you land a big win, is to go out and start spending money like it is going out of business, only to accrue a number of bank charges because the actual payment into your account hasn't cleared yet.
Admittedly, if you have just won a huge amount of money of several million, then small bank charges are not going to worry you too much, but why give the bank any of your money at all, when you can simply be patient and wait to ensure the cash is there when you want to spend it?
The good news is when your casino contacts you after your big win, they will give you clear information about what you need to do to receive the money, how it will be paid to you and how long you can expect to wait until the cash is cleared and in your account. They may also offer you advice on the type of account in which to invest your cash as a standard current account is not the best option if you are receiving a huge amount of money.
All you need to do is provide the casino with any instructions they need and then wait until the transaction is processed (don't worry, this does not take too long) and then when the money is with you, you can then focus on what you want to do with it.
Remember that the Mega Moolah jackpot is paid out in a single lump sum fairly quickly after the win.
- Splurge, Spend or Invest - What should I do with my winnings?
The final question to ask yourself is also the most fun of the five. What should you do with your winnings? Now, this does depend on several factors, namely your current financial situation, the amount of money that you have won, your partner and family's situation and there are other smaller considerations people may wish to look at before deciding what to do.
In the UK, National Lottery advisors recommend that any person winning a massive jackpot in their game spends a short time away on holiday to give them some time away from home and some space to think about what they want to do with the rest of their money. That is good advice I feel, especially if you are unsure of the best way to utilise your windfall.
If you have won a smaller amount of money, then your options are slightly more limited. You may not be able to spend big and also invest, so you need to think about what you want to do with your money carefully. A win of, say, 1.5 million is still a huge amount and used prudently, it can provide you and your loved ones with a very comfortable lifestyle for many, many years. However, splurge it on cash, holidays, homes without any plan, with no thinking to the future and you can soon quickly run those funds dry.
If you win a larger amount of money, say several million and upwards, then you have the option to invest a proportion of your money wisely, or start a new business, and then spend the rest as you see fit. Sure, you can get that house you wanted, the villa abroad, the luxury cars, but securing your wealth to ensure that you can afford to live well into the future is just as important as enjoying the proceeds in the present.
For these wins and the truly massive wins, such as the £13 million world record win on Mega Moolah in 2015, I would strongly suggest winners take financial advice from a respected expert on how best to invest their winnings to secure their future and then with the money left over (which will still be considerable), you can then enjoy all the trappings of a big win, without risking losing everything when the funds run dry.
After the excitement of a life-changing win has worn off, you need to then keep a cool head and ensure you use your funds in a way that best suits you and your loved ones. That is why these wins are life-changing and that is why so many millions of people all try to win the top progressive jackpot prizes, such as on the Mega Moolah slot, every week.
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Byline: This article was published by Mega Moolah expert Henry. Media and other enquiries.