This past weekend history was made in horse racing at the 145th run of the Kentucky Derby. For the first time ever, the horse to cross the finish line first was soon after disqualified. After multiple objections from other jockeys in the race, Maximum Security’s victory lap was cut short and his undefeated title was stripped from him. After much review of the race, Country House was named the winner and his owner claimed the 3-million-dollar prize.


Have you ever received a large sum of money, whether it was expected or unexpected? Country House wasn’t a likely winner of this year’s Kentucky Derby, but you have to admit that the owners of Country House had some expectations. However, for us normal folks who aren’t owners of prestigious thoroughbreds, we don’t usually expect to receive 3 million dollars. So, what do you do when your luck strikes gold?


Here are 3 things you should do before anything else when you receive a large sum of money.


#1: Pause

No matter your background, whether you come from a wealthy family or you’ve always struggled to make it from paycheck to paycheck, we all react similarly to large windfalls. Three prominent side effects include stress, indecision, and financial recklessness. Pausing after you receive a large windfall can help you avoid making mistakes that these three side effects often result in. Take the time to consider all the options available for your money by sitting down with a professional. If you simply give the situation time, then you will have a much better understanding of everything that comes with your large windfall and a much better chance of choosing the right option for you. Which brings us to our next step.


#2 Prioritize What You Want

Has anyone ever asked you, “What would you do with a million dollars?” Answering that question just for fun is easy, but when it becomes your reality, the decision is much more complex. There are so many things you can do with a large sum of money – you could invest it, or buy that vacation home you’ve always wanted, or donate to your favorite charity. That’s just a few options from a long list of possibilities. So, think about what you really want – the keyword is YOU. Often times when we come into money we get a lot of requests and advice from loved ones and friends. It can be very difficult to tune out these voices and focus solely on what you want. Write down a list of what you would like to do with the money and, again, take some time to think about your list. Time will tell! Click here if you need further direction.


#3 Protect Your Money

As mentioned before, coming into money has a way of resurfacing old friends or distant family members. Before you know it, you’re receiving phone calls or visits from people you haven’t spoken to in months or even years. These people want your money! Therefore, you need to protect it. Though you may have enough money now to build an actual password-protected vault, we don’t mean that kind of protection per se. Ultimately, if you want to handle your large windfall properly, especially if you’re dealing with a major fortune, then you’ll want to get a whole team to work with you. This team can tell you how much money you’re really working with.

Consider this: The prize money for the Derby this past weekend was a total of $3 million. However, the owners of the winning horse only receive about 60% of that sum, equalling $1.86 million.

What percent of your sum are you really getting?

A professional can not only tell you exactly how much money you are dealing with after taxes and what not, but they can also provide reasonable ways to protect your money and smart ways to handle it moving forward.


If you’ve received a large windfall, we understand the stress that you are under. You don’t have to deal with that stress alone – contact Ark Financial today and we can help lighten the load and bring the most value to your money.