One California teen won the lottery not once, but twice, this week.
Rosa Dominguez, 19, collected a total of $655,555, ABC News reports, and if she wants to get even richer, the strategy is simple: Invest her winnings.
Investing is one of the most effective ways to build wealth, thanks to a phenomenon known as compound interest. Compounding makes a sum grow at a faster rate than simple interest, because in addition to earning returns on the money you invest, you also earn returns on those returns.
And since Dominguez is only 19, her money could potentially compound for decades.
While experts typically recommend that lottery winners find a qualified financial planner to help build their investment portfolio, those who can't count on winning the lottery once, let alone twice, don't need a professional to start investing. Nor do you need a lump sum to get started.
The simplest starting point is to invest in your employer's 401(k) plan and take full advantage of your company's match, which is essentially free money, if they offer one. Next, consider contributing a portion of your paycheck to a Roth IRA, traditional IRA and/or a health savings account.
You can also research low-cost index funds, which Warren Buffett recommends, micro-investing apps that let you invest as little as your "spare change" and online investment platforms known as robo-advisors.
The important thing is to put your money to work sooner rather than later. While investing won't cause your net worth to spike as quickly as a lucky lottery ticket, it can get you pretty far, and ultimately, can even make you a millionaire.
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