The owner of the store that sold the ticket is incentivized to get the winnings to the right person as this is the only way they can receive their bonus for selling the winning tickets (They will not get paid until any disputes have been settled) – In the case of the Iraqi man winning the Oregon State lottery, the shop that sold the ticket received a $64,000 ‘selling bonus’.
Lottery winners can choose to receive the money in either an annuity — annual allotments over 30 years — or to get it all at once in a single payment for a smaller amount. For example, the lump sum on the $502 million jackpot would be $301 million, according to lottery site USAMega.com. If a single winner takes the single payment, the federal tax withholding would be over $75 million. Then, there are state taxes too.
If you’re not using an official state lottery website, the retailer may not be licensed and therefore could have no connection to the state lottery programs. Last year, during the record-breaking $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot, Holyfield says Michigan’s lottery office fielded several calls from consumers who purchased tickets online, only to have the vendor shut down without notice.
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Lotto America was the first lottery game offered by MUSL. In 1987, six states and the District of Columbia banded together, since, on their own, they could not create jackpots into the tens of millions of dollars that had become commonplace in the most popular single-state lottery games. MUSL's first game was called "Lotto America" even though only those seven jurisdictions took part. The first Lotto America drawing was in 1988.
Like the other big American lottery, USA Powerball, Mega Millions started life under a different name. Originally the lottery was known as The Big Game when it launched in 1996 with tickets going on sale in a handful of US States, including Georgia, Maryland and Virginia. In the early days of The Big Game draws were only held once a week on Fridays.
The American Powerball lottery makes use of two machines drawing two sets of numbers. In this way, it is similar to other lotteries like the Mega Millions and EuroMillions. Powerball players need to match five numbers from a possible 69 (these are the white numbers), and one number from a possible 26 (these are the red bonus ‘Powerballs’). If a player matches up all six numbers that have been drawn, they will win the jackpot. Second tier division winners have a $1 million prize to look forward to – one does not even need to match all six numbers in order to become a millionaire with the US Powerball game!
Powerball offers an optional multiplier known as the Power Play, which multiplies the seven bottom prize divisions by 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10 times, depending on the draw and jackpot size. Matching five main numbers and the Power Play still makes you a multi-millionaire by doubling Powerball’s second place prize to a staggering $2,000,000! To add the multiplier, simply check the Power Play box when you buy your Powerball tickets online.
On May 18, 2013, the world's largest one-ticket jackpot, an annuity of approximately $590.5 million ($620 million today), was won by a Powerball ticket sold in Zephyrhills, Florida. On June 5, Florida Lottery officials announced the winner: Gloria C. MacKenzie, 84, who purchased the "quick pick" ticket at a Publix supermarket. MacKenzie chose the cash option of approximately $370.8 million, before Federal withholding; Florida does not have a state income tax.
On January 15, 2012, the price of each basic Powerball play doubled to $2, while PowerPlay games became $3; the minimum jackpot doubled to $40 million. A non-jackpot play matching the five white balls won $1 million. The red balls decreased from 39 to 35. The drawings were moved from Universal Studios Orlando to the Florida Lottery’s studios in Tallahassee. Sam Arlen served as host, with Alexa Fuentes substituting.
Despite the uneasiness of many to begin with, I know of no disputes or complaints from people who have bought Powerball tickets online via the insurance model, won and not been paid. As you can imagine, this scenario would effectively close down their website as they rely solely on the trust factor. The insurance model means that you will not be buying “official” tickets, but what do you care if you get paid your millions at the end of the day!
If you still have doubts as to whether you can buy lottery tickets online, check out the Iraqi national that won $6.4 million in the Oregon State lottery despite not being a) a citizen, b) a resident and c) having never set foot in Oregon (or even the US for that matter!). Click the link on the text to read more about this watershed moment in buying lottery tickets online and the unsuccessful steps taken by the local government to try and block this payment. Despite all the efforts, the lottery winner had acted completely legally and was entitled to his millions.