- If a group or pool of players claims a large prize, does every member pay taxes?
When large groups of players claim a large jackpot prize, each player shares in the tax liability equally. Taxes are removed at a rate of 25% Federal and 7.8% Idaho tax. Each claimant receives their W-2G forms, which detail their tax liability along with a check for their portion of the winnings.
If a group selects an annuity, taxes are removed each year based upon current tax laws before preparing the winners' annual checks. The Idaho Lottery must withhold taxes on winning amounts consistent with current Federal and State tax laws.
- How much in taxes is withheld from each Lottery prize?
As required by Idaho law, the Lottery automatically deducts Federal and State income taxes from your winnings of prizes over $5,000. The Federal tax rate is 25% and the State of Idaho tax rate is 7.8%. The Lottery is also required to report winnings of $600 or more to the IRS, although they do not deduct taxes until the prize exceeds $5,000.
When you receive your check, you will also receive three copies of your W-2G form detailing your taxed amount. You should keep these tax records safe until the following year when you will be required to submit them with your taxes. One copy is for your Federal taxes, one copy is for your State of Idaho taxes, and one copy is for your personal records.
For specific tax information, the Idaho Lottery suggests all winners consult a professional tax accountant, attorney or advisor.
- What happens to prize money if the winner passes away?
If a winner passes away before receiving all of the prize payments, the remainder of the prize money will be issued to the winner's estate.
- Can't decide on Cash or Annuity?
A change in the IRS code will allow you to make the cash versus annuity decision after you have won a jackpot. The Idaho Lottery Commission's policy states as follows: "It is the policy of the Idaho Lottery Commission to allow on-line jackpot winners to defer for sixty days following the presentation of the winning ticket, an election as to whether to receive the prize in the form of an annuity or a single cash payment as a procedure in the rules of the game. The election, once made, is binding and cannot be changed without the specific approval of the Idaho Lottery Commission." If a cash out is desired later, an order from a court is required by the Lottery.
- Can I buy tickets on the internet or through the mail?
No, there are State and Federal laws that prohibit the sale of Lottery tickets through the Internet and by mail.
- How can I automatically receive the winning Powerball numbers after the drawing?
To sign up to receive the winning Powerball PowerPlay numbers or any other winning numbers from games by the Idaho Lottery, go to the Idaho Lottery's home page and click on the VIP "sign-up" button. Follow the simple instructions. Members can choose to receive either e-mail alerts or text messages to their cell phones regarding the winning numbers.
- How long can a player wait to claim his or her prize?
Idaho Lottery players have 180 days from the draw date for Draw Games and 180 days from the official end of the game for Scratch Games to claim their prize. If a prize is not claimed within 180 days, it is transferred to the dividend fund.
- How do I locate past winning numbers?
Click on one of the following Draw Games™ to get the downloadable list: Powerball PowerPlay®, Mega Millions® with Megaplier, Hot Lotto Sizzler®, Weekly Grand™, Wild Card, Idaho Pick 3.
You can download a list of past winning numbers in text format for each game by doing the following:
- Highlight “winning numbers” from the menu bar.
- Select the Draw game of your choice.
- Just under the winning numbers green chart area, you will see the text “Download Past Drawings Text Format”.
- Click on the “Download” to get your numbers.