How Do You Claim a Prize From Winning the Lottery?


Quick Answer

How you claim your lottery winnings will depend on the amount of your prize and the drawing that you've won. Depending on your location, most retailers will provide the funds for prizes of $600 or less. You have between 180 days and one year to claim your prize.

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Full Answer

For winnings greater than $600 but less than $100,000, prizes can be claimed by mail or at a local office. Any amount greater than $100,000 must be claimed at your state's lottery headquarters. These headquarters will vary in location, depending on which drawing you've won. Forbes recommends remaining anonymous if your state allows it. It also recommends that you speak to a tax professional before turning over your winning ticket.

Grand prize winners have the choice to receive a lump sum amount once or an annuity spread out over a course of 30 years. If you choose to receive your earnings in one lump sum, you will be responsible for paying federal and state taxes, unless you live in one of the eight states that doesn't tax lottery winnings, at the end of the fiscal year. If you choose to be paid by annuity, your earnings will be taxed as you receive them.

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