If you're looking to win big, then playing the Illinois Lottery can be an exciting way to play the odds. Beginning in 1974, the Illinois Lottery has paid out millions to winners throughout the years. With multiple games to choose from and multiple ways to win, the Illinois Lottery has thrills for all players. If you're interested in reading some commonly asked questions about the Illinois Lottery, then keep reading.
Here's the process for claiming Illinois Lottery prizes.
In-person claims at any of the Illinois claim centers require an appointment. Visit the Illinois Lottery website to schedule your appointment.
Whenever online winnings cause your account balance to exceed $2,500, excess winnings will be sent to you via check.
To claim a prize by mail, use USPS registered mail with a return address and send the signed winning ticket and a completed claim form to:
Illinois Lottery Claims Department
P.O. Box 19080
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9912
Keep a copy of all claim documents for your records.
Here are the taxes withheld from lottery winnings for all U.S. citizens or residents.
|$1,000 to $4,999||State Tax||4.95%|
|$5,000 or more||State Tax||4.95%|
If the winner is not a U.S. citizen or resident, the Illinois Lottery withholds a greater amount for taxes.
|$600 to $999||State Tax||0%|
|$1,000 or more||State Tax||4.95%|
To play the lottery in Illinois, you must be at least 18 years of age. Not only do you need to be 18 years or older, but you must also be a resident of Illinois who is physically located in the state at the time of your purchase. To purchase a lottery ticket online, you must comply with the age requirement while also registering an account with the Illinois Lottery.
The odds of winning the Illinois Lottery can vary based on the type of
game you play. If you play with the Extra Shot number, there are up to 10 ways
for you to win on an Illinois Lotto ticket. The odds of winning a prize in the
Illinois Lottery with Extra Shot are 1 in 5.6, compared to 1 in 7 without Extra
Shot. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 20,358,520 with a 6-way match.
The minimum prize of $1 has odds of 1 in 83 if you match just two of the
You can purchase a ticket for the Illinois Lottery online, either on the website or within the app. You can also find tickets available for purchase at more than 7,200 retail locations throughout the state. After finding a ticket vendor, you can decide which game to play and pick your numbers. If you pick the lucky numbers, then you'll have a chance at earning prizes ranging from a couple bucks to millions of dollars. You also have the option of using Quick Pick, which automatically generates your numbers for you.
Days and times for drawings can vary based on the game. Here is a list of the various games and their drawing times:
If you win the grand prize of the Lotto, Mega Millions, or Powerball, then you have two options to receive your payment. The first option is a lump sum payment that is equal to the cash value of the jackpot prize. The second option is a series of 30 annual payments. After winning, you have 60 days to select which payment method you prefer using the cash election form provided by the prize payment center.
Group winners must all choose the same payment option, and if the payment center doesn't receive a decision within 60 days, then it will default to the annual payments. When choosing the lump sum payment, the actual amount paid will be considerably less than the announced jackpot. The annual payments will be closer to the jackpot amount, but will still have state and federal taxes withheld from each payment.
If you have a winning ticket, there are four different ways to claim your prize in Illinois. Before you begin the process, make sure that you sign the back of your ticket and that the ticket itself isn't expired. It's also requested that you only choose one method to claim your prize, as submitting multiple claims can delay the process. Here are the four ways you can claim your winnings:
If you win the Illinois Lottery, then you will need to pay taxes on all of your winnings. Similar to how other gambling winnings work, you must pay taxes on your winnings as part of your income. The withholding rate from the state is 4.95%, with a federal rate of 24%. If you choose to be paid out in annual installments rather than the lump sum option, then each installment will have the correct tax amount automatically withheld each time.
Because the Illinois Lottery is a state agency, certain public disclosure laws can provide people access to government records about your winnings. These records include your name, city of residence, the date you won, the amount you won, and the name and location of the retailer who sold you the winning ticket. Upon request or legal mandate, the Illinois Lottery may also release additional information about your winnings.
If you've won an amount that is greater than or equal to $250,000, then you can submit a written request to keep your name and city of residence confidential. You must submit this request at the same time that you claim your prize. However, the Illinois Lottery may still be legally obligated to release your confidential information depending on the circumstances.
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