3 Important Things to Remember When You Hit the Lottery

With all its excitement and potential for financial windfall, remembering the purpose of the lottery can sometimes be a challenging task. Even though it can bring about a prodigious jackpot, the proceeds from lottery tickets are taxed revenue which fuel government spending.LottoTicket

Claiming Your Ticket

Writing your name on the back of your lottery ticket is often forgotten when purchasers attempt to claim them. Huge disputes have developed over ownership of tickets, and if the ticket gets lost it’s hard to win the dispute without proof. Making sure to declare your ownership to the state and handing tickets in during the allotted time are important factors to making sure you get paid.

Lump Sum vs. Annuity

There are two options with claiming your lottery winnings: taking a lump sum, or an annuity which pays you over the span of approximately 30 years. These two options are taxed differently but both have a 40% federal tax rate. Annuity involves taking a smaller payment being taxed each time you receive the money. If you can obtain an annual return of more than 3%, taking the lump sum makes more sense over the annuity down the line.

Research State Lottery Tax Laws

Your state may have different tax requirements depending on your residence. There are different withholding tax rates and implicit tax revenue per capita. Look into what guidelines your state follows when deciding to play the lottery in your area.


With tax rates for lottery winnings varying from state to state, it’s important to be aware of where you’re gambling. Remember that in the end the government holds the lottery to increase revenue for the state.

Image credit: lain Watson