Don’t Lose Out On Winning Lottery Tickets – Know the Laws

If you enjoy playing the lottery you know you are one of millions. You also know that your odds of winning, depending on the game you play and its jackpot size, are one in millions. But, as the saying goes, you have to be in it to win it, and oftentimes, despite the odds, people do win it.

Have you ever thought about what you would do if you won the lottery? Would you pay off all your debts? Maybe, you would by your parents a new house. You would perhaps buy yourself a house, something big with many rooms, a swimming pool, and a four-car garage so you can safely store all your classic and sports cars that you buy with your winnings.

It is fun to dream but there is always a chance that if you play the lottery, you will win. For this reason, you should know about some basic lottery laws before you play another game.

Hold On To Lottery Tickets

Lost lottery tickets can sometimes be winning tickets, and they have been in the past. In fact, some lost winners have been found in, of all places, garbage cans. That may sound pretty lucky for the person who came across this lost ticket but there is something you need to know about this type of scenario.

Someone gets to claim the winnings according to the law. Is it the person who bought the ticket or who found it? This is where things get complicated. Some judges overseeing cases between those who have found discarded tickets and those who bought them have ordered the finder to return the prize money to the buyer.

The laws get complicated regarding trash which is usually considered abandoned property and the intent of a lottery ticket purchaser. They intended to keep it in case they were a winner. Hold on to your ticket no matter what and do not throw it away unless you are certain it is a losing ticket. This goes for scratch-offs as well.

Be Aware of Your State’s Lottery Notification Policy

Lottery winners are often disclosed to the public, and this puts them in the position of being hounded by strangers for pleas for money. Check with your state. If you do not need to disclose your identity, opt to keep it private. Besides keeping your sanity from exposure to money-hungry strangers, keep yourself safe from potential theft.

Be aware, however, that some states like California require that your identity is disclosed. Otherwise, you cannot claim your prize. You can still protect yourself. Make hiring a good, honest tax attorney your friend. They can advise you how to best handle the taxes – do not forget you have to pay those on most wins – and how to handle the requests you undoubtedly will get if you win a huge prize.

Claim Your Prize Within the Legal Allotted Time

It does no good if you win $1 million dollars and forget to cash that winning lottery ticket in. You must do this within 180 days of the drawing. If you don’t, you lose out on a winning ticket.