Thinking of Going Off the Grid After Winning the Lottery? Not So Fast
Everyone dreams of it: having a small piece of paper with the right numbers printed on it and winning the life-changing $200 million, $700 million or $1 billion jackpot. But what happens after you win?
Many winners decide to remain anonymous — or at least try to — but that can be difficult when many states demand that the winners of large jackpots show their faces at news conferences.
At his own news conference in Madison, Wis., Manuel Franco, 24, who in a Powerball drawing last month won $768 million, the third-largest jackpot in United States lottery history, seemed to be trying not to divulge too much information about himself, perhaps to keep random family members from coming out of the woodwork. Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, he declined to say where he grew up, where he lived, what kind of car he drove or where he used to work. (He quit two days after winning.)
Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Texas, North Dakota and Ohio allow lottery winners to conceal their identities if the winnings exceed a certain dollar amount, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Other states, like New York, make it easy for winners to collect their prizes under the cover of an L.L.C. or an entity. But states like Wisconsin want winners to come forward to claim their prizes, although Wisconsin does not require them to appear at a news conference as Mr. Franco did.
After Mr. Franco’s $768 million win, “it seems a little ridiculous that there isn’t privacy when it comes to that,” Gary Tauchen, a Wisconsin state representative, said. “Certainly you have a lot of fourth and fifth cousins and it is just a situation when you’re under high stress.”
While Mr. Franco was answering questions about his lottery winnings as concisely as possible, Mr. Tauchen was introducing a bill seeking to ensure the privacy of lottery winners in Wisconsin.
“I know that it is one of those life-changing experiences when you need some time to adjust,” Mr. Tauchen said. “You don’t need the stress of other people putting pressure on you.”
And for jackpot winners like Mr. Franco, the pressure comes nearly immediately.
“For the next two weeks, people are going to be outside of his house,” Jason M. Kurland, a lawyer who has represented several winners of large lottery jackpots, said on Wednesday.
“I get those letters every week,” Mr. Kurland said, referring to the mail he receives intended for his clients. “They range from congratulatory letters to individuals having a tough time asking for handouts, to organizations looking for donations, to business men and women asking for investors.”
Mr. Kurland, who calls himself the Lottery Lawyer and represented the person in South Carolina who won the $1.54 billion Mega Millions jackpot last year, advises his clients to delete all their social media accounts before they claim their winnings. He also tells them to try to remove their address from public view as much as they can and to get new phone numbers. If there are children involved, he will hire security for the first couple of days.
Mr. Kurland tries to help his clients retain some privacy after they win, but if privacy is hard to achieve in 2019, anonymity is nearly impossible.
“It is very hard to participate in civil life and be anonymous,” Albert Gidari, the privacy director of the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, said on Wednesday. “You can’t buy a car in cash and avoid disclosing who you are because now car dealers are financial institutions,” Mr. Gidari said, adding that it was nearly impossible to transfer money in and out of the United States without disclosing who you are to the government.
“He can get a lot of lawyers and accountants and figure out how to move and hide a lot of that money at great risk to himself for not complying with government reporting,” Mr. Gidari said. “You can’t get very far, but you can get far enough to get some degree of obscurity, even if you can’t get anonymity.”
Last year the winner of a $560 million Powerball jackpot in New Hampshire took the state to court to retain her anonymity while claiming her prize. The woman’s lawyers argued that she would be accosted with requests for money, and the state argued that lottery winners must be disclosed to make sure that winners are not related to lottery employees and that winnings are distributed fairly. The court decided disclosing the winner’s name would be an invasion of privacy and allowed the woman to anonymously claim her winnings.
“You want to be able to enjoy this crazy amount of money you luckily won, but at the same time you want to keep your privacy, so it’s a balance,” Mr. Kurland said.
But going off the grid, setting up shop on the beach and enjoying the fruits of your ticket are not necessarily possible without informing the government.
“If you leave the country, it’s worse,” Mr. Gidari said, adding that leaving the country and failing to report assets in the United States and abroad could lead to losing those assets.Some states allow the winners of large jackpots to remain anonymous, but is it ever possible to retain your privacy after a life-changing windfall?
Can you remain anonymous in fl lottery
ATTENTION PLAYERS: All Lottery offices are currently open to the public by appointment only for prizes valued at $600 or more. For more information, or to view all claim options, click here .
Are Florida Lottery offices open to the public?
Yes, Lottery offices are open by appointment only. Players with prizes valued at $600 or more can schedule a claim appointment at Headquarters or a Lottery district office by visiting www.flalottery.com/howToClaim.
Claim appointments are offered Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., EST (Pensacola’s hours are 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., CST) with the first hour of each day reserved for players 65 and older and those with serious underlying medical conditions.
In compliance with county and/or city ordinances, players must wear a face covering and submit to a mandatory health screening in accordance with DOH and CDC guidelines prior entering a Lottery Office. In an effort to limit the number of people in an office at one time, players are asked to attend their claim appointment by themselves unless they require the assistance of another person for medical reasons.
Where can I claim my prize?
Prizes of $250,000 and above can be claimed via appointment or drop box at Lottery Headquarters, or mailed to Lottery Headquarters.
Prizes of $600 – $249,999 can be claimed via appointment or drop box at any Lottery district office, or mailed to any Lottery district office.
Prizes of $599 and below can be claimed at any Florida Lottery retailer.
Secured drop boxes are located at each Lottery district office for players to drop off winning tickets along with a completed Winner Claim Form and a copy of an acceptable form of identification. Drop boxes are accessible Monday – Friday during specified drop box hours; no appointment is needed. Click here to view all drop box hours.
For more information, click here
How long do I have to claim a prize? Will my ticket expire?
The deadlines for claiming prizes for Draw, Fast Play, and Scratch-Off games have been extended as follows:
Winning Draw game tickets for drawings occurring on or after September 24, 2019, and on or before June 20, 2020, must be claimed on or before the 360th day after the winning drawing.
Claimants of winning Draw game tickets for drawings occurring on or after June 21, 2020, and on or before December 17, 2020, will have up to 360 days to claim prizes depending on the draw dates. For each day after June 20, 2020, the 360-day claim period will decrease by one day until the claim period reaches the statutorily required 180 days. For a complete listing of applicable draw dates with associated extended claiming deadlines, please click here.
Winning Fast Play and Scratch-Off tickets must be claimed on or before the 240th day after the announced end of game for games ending on or after January 22, 2020, and on or before August 1, 2020.
How can I practice safe play while in public?
During this time, the Lottery continues to encourage all players to practice safe play by following the tips below:
- If you must make a trip to the store, do not go solely for Florida Lottery tickets.
- Utilize the Advance Play option when purchasing Draw game tickets.
- Use the Lottery’s new mobile app or the self ticket scanner at retail locations instead of handing your ticket to a clerk to check if it’s a winner.
- Follow the CDC’s recommended social distancing practices and safety guidelines to keep a healthy distance when in public.
Additionally, by following the simple, yet effective, steps outlined in Florida’s One Goal One Florida initiative, Floridians can protect themselves and others to fight COVID-19:
- Protect the vulnerable, including the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions.
- Practice proper hygiene, including washing your hands.
- Practice social distancing, avoiding closed spaces and crowded places.
- Wear a mask if you are in close contact with others.
For more information, click here.
How long do I have to claim a prize? Will my ticket expire?
The deadlines for claiming prizes for Draw, Fast Play, and Scratch-Off games have been extended as follows:
- Winning Draw game tickets for drawings occurring on or after September 24, 2019, and on or before June 20, 2020, must be claimed on or before the 360th day after the winning drawing.
- Claimants of winning Draw game tickets for drawings occurring on or after June 21, 2020, and on or before December 17, 2020, will have up to 360 days to claim prizes depending on the draw dates. For each day after June 20, 2020, the 360-day claim period will decrease by one day until the claim period reaches the statutorily required 180 days. For a complete listing of applicable draw dates with associated extended claiming deadlines, please click here.
- Winning Fast Play and Scratch-Off tickets must be claimed on or before the 240th day after the announced end of game for games ending on or after January 22, 2020, and on or before August 1, 2020.
Lottery Games and Promotions
Can I purchase Florida Lottery tickets over the Internet? Do you have a subscription service?
No. The Florida Lottery does not offer the sale of Lottery tickets by mail, fax, or via the Internet, nor do we currently offer a subscription service. Tickets must be purchased from any of the more than 13,000 authorized Florida Lottery retailers in the state of Florida. Find an authorized Florida Lottery retailer.
Adding the XTRA feature to your FLORIDA LOTTO ticket costs an additional $1, and matching 2 of 6 numbers would constitute a free ticket. Such a ticket will have XTRA: YES posted slightly above the draw date and ticket cost. Therefore, if you have matched 2 of 6 numbers, but within the lower portion of your tickets, it reads XTRA: NO, your ticket is not a winner. Visit the LOTTO section of the website for an in-depth explanation about the FLORIDA LOTTO with XTRA feature.
I have a POWERBALL, MEGA MILLIONS or CASH4LIFE ticket from another state. Can I cash it in Florida since this is a multi-state game?
All POWERBALL ® , MEGA MILLIONS ® and CASH4LIFE ® prizes must be claimed in the state where the ticket was purchased, and all Florida POWERBALL, MEGA MILLIONS and CASH4LIFE ® prizes, including the jackpot, must be paid in Florida like all other Florida Lottery games.
For more information on this exciting multi-state game, please visit the POWERBALL, MEGA MILLIONS or CASH4LIFE section of our website.
Can I buy Advance Play tickets for future drawings?
Yes, players can purchase Advance Play tickets from any authorized Florida Lottery retailer. Visit the Advance Play section for more details regarding Advance Play, and the number of Advance Play draws available per game.
How late can I purchase my Draw game tickets? What are the cut-off times?
All Florida Lottery Draw game tickets must be purchased prior to the applicable draw times as follows:
|Draw Game||Draw Days/Times||Cut-Off Times|
|FLORIDA LOTTO ®||Wed. and Sat., 11:15 p.m. ET||Wed. and Sat., 10:40 p.m. ET|
|MEGA MILLIONS ®||Tues. and Fri., 11:00 p.m. ET||Tues. and Fri., 10:00 p.m. ET|
|POWERBALL ®||Wed. and Sat., 10:59 p.m. ET||Wed. and Sat., 10:00 p.m. ET|
|JACKPOT TRIPLE PLAY™||Tues. and Fri., 11:15 p.m. ET||Tues. and Fri., 10:40 p.m. ET|
|CASH4LIFE ®||Daily, 9:00 p.m. ET||Daily, 8:30 p.m. ET|
|FANTASY 5™||Daily, 11:15 p.m. ET||Daily, 10:40 p.m. ET|
|PICK 2™||Twice Daily,
1:30 p.m. ET and 9:45 p.m. ET
|13 minutes prior to the drawing,
1:17 p.m. ET and 9:32 p.m. ET
|PICK 3™||Twice Daily,
1:30 p.m. ET and 9:45 p.m. ET
|11 minutes prior to the drawing,
1:19 p.m. ET and 9:34 p.m. ET
|PICK 4™||Twice Daily,
1:30 p.m. ET and 9:45 p.m. ET
|10 minutes prior to the drawing,
1:20 p.m. ET and 9:35 p.m. ET
|PICK 5™||Twice Daily,
1:30 p.m. ET and 9:45 p.m. ET
|12 minutes prior to the drawing,
1:18 p.m. ET and 9:33 p.m. ET
Tickets purchased after the applicable cut-off times will be for the next available drawing.
Where are Florida Lottery Draw game drawings held and can the public attend the drawings?
Drawings for POWERBALL ® , FLORIDA LOTTO ® , JACKPOT TRIPLE PLAY ™ , FANTASY 5 ™ , PICK 2 ™ , PICK 3 ™ , PICK 4 ™ , and PICK 5 ™ are held at the Florida Lottery draw studio, located at 250 Marriott Drive in Tallahassee. These drawings are open to the public. For more information or to schedule your attendance, please contact the Florida Lottery’s Customer Service Division, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at (850) 487-7787. A photo ID is required for access to the Florida Lottery building.
MEGA MILLIONS ® drawings are held at WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia.
CASH4LIFE drawings are held at New Jersey Lottery headquarters studio in Trenton, New Jersey.
You can watch the drawing live and past drawings on www.livestream.com/CASH4LIFE.
The official Florida Lottery drawings may also be viewed at youtube.com/FloridaLottery
Where can I find more information on Florida Lottery games and where top-prize winning tickets were sold?
Lists of top prize and jackpot winning numbers, including the location where winning tickets were sold, are available on the Lottery’s website. On the top of the homepage, select the ABOUT US link, and choose REPORTS from the left navigation. On this page, under each game’s heading, there is a list of reports or documents.
This type of information may also be available on our MEDIA page. Current News Releases are available, which include information about Lottery winners, games, promotions and special events, among other general announcements. In addition, you may search the Lottery News Archives for past News Releases. Scroll down the page, and under LOTTERY NEWS ARCHIVE SEARCH you may search by Release Date or by Keyword or Phrase.
Second Chance Drawings and Promotions
Where do I enter my non-winning tickets into a Second Chance drawing? Can I participate by mailing my non-winning tickets to the Lottery?
To navigate to the Second Chance drawing portion of our website, from the home page, please select the PLAY tab, and choose Second Chance from the drop-down menu. From this page, all current Second Chance promotions are listed to the right of the Welcome message. Use the navigation bar to scroll down the list of promotions and choose the appropriate promotion. If this is your first time entering one of our Second Chance promotions, you must register before you can log in and submit entries. To register, visit the Second Chance website to complete and submit your registration information.
Please note: Internet entries are not eligible to be mailed into Florida Lottery Second Chance drawings. Entries that are submitted through the mail will be disqualified.
I’m having difficulty trying to register. What can I do?
To register a new account on the Second Chance website, select the Second Chance link on the main menu bar at the top of this page. After the page loads, click the “Register now” text link at the top right of the page. Fill out the required fields in the registration form and click SUBMIT.
After successfully submitting the form, you will be redirected to the LOG IN screen. Log in with the email address and password that you created in the registration process.
My password is not being accepted when I try to log in. What if I forgot my password?
Please note: You must complete the registration process before you can log in and submit entries. If this is your first time submitting entries, complete and submit your registration information. Once registered, if you have difficulty entering your password, check to see if your CAPS LOCK key is on. Passwords are case sensitive. If this is not the case, it is possible that your computer is set to AUTO FILL from previously typed numbers in this field. Please delete all characters in the field before entering new information.
If you forgot your password, have your password emailed to you.
How do I update my personal information after I have registered?
You can update your account information at any time by logging in to your account; sign in with the email address and password that you registered with. Then, select My Account to access your account information. Make any necessary changes on your information page, then click on the SUBMIT button to save your changes.
When I try to enter my ticket number in a Scratch-Off second chance promotion, I get a message that the ticket number is not valid. What should I do?
First, make sure the ticket you are holding is not a winning Scratch-Off ticket. Next, check that the numbers you are entering exactly match what’s on your ticket. Do NOT include any dashes (-), spaces or other characters. Finally, if you’ve verified these steps and you believe that it is a non-winning ticket for an active Scratch-Off second chance promotion, contact the Lottery’s Customer Service Division at (850) 487-7787.
When I try to enter my voucher number in a second chance promotion, I get a message that the voucher number is not valid. What should I do?
First, make sure that you correctly entered the first 13 digits of your 19-digit voucher serial number, and not the Draw game ticket serial number. Do NOT include any dashes (-), spaces or other characters. Secondly, you must wait at least ONE HOUR after purchase to enter vouchers in a drawing. Players entering a voucher within one hour of purchase will be directed to return at a later date to enter their voucher in the drawing. Finally, if you’ve verified these steps and you believe that it is a valid voucher for an active second chance promotion, contact the Lottery’s Customer Service Division at (850) 487-7787.
Can I enter a second chance promotion more than one time?
YES! You may enter a second chance promotion as many times as you wish. However, each entry requires the use of a separate qualified non-winning Scratch-Off ticket or voucher.
How can I be sure that my entry was successfully submitted? Can I verify which tickets or vouchers I have entered?
When your entry in a second chance promotion is successfully submitted, a confirmation message will appear at the top of the Ticket or Voucher Entry page. In addition, submitted entries will be listed at the bottom of the page. Each time you submit an entry, a record of your entry appears at the bottom of the Ticket or Voucher Entry page for your information and reference. You may check the list against the tickets or vouchers you are holding. Your most recent entry will appear at the top of the list.
Can I delete an entry?
No, once your entry has been successfully submitted, it cannot be deleted. All entries are final.
May I throw away my tickets/vouchers after I have entered in a second chance promotion?
No, that’s the last thing you want to do! Keep the non-winning Scratch-Off ticket or voucher that you entered, and keep it safe. If you are selected as a winner in a drawing, you may need to present the original ticket or voucher to claim the prize. After it has been determined that you are in fact not a winner in the Second Chance promotion, only then should you discard your tickets.
How do I find out if I am a second chance winner?
The prize winners in each second chance drawing are posted on the second chance drawing website the day of the draw, following the validation process. The Florida Lottery will attempt to notify each prize winner by telephone, U.S. mail or email using the contact information provided in the winner’s registration data no later than one (1) week after the winners are drawn.
Lottery Winners, Prizes and Taxes
Where do I go to claim my Lottery prize?
Prizes of $599.99 or less may be redeemed at any Florida Lottery retailer. Prizes from $600 to $250,000, and POWERBALL ® and MEGA MILLIONS ® prizes of up to $1 million, may be redeemed at a Lottery district office. Prizes of $250,000 or more, with the exception of POWERBALL and MEGA MILLIONS prizes ranging up to $1 million, must be claimed at Lottery Headquarters in Tallahassee. Lottery tickets may also be mailed to Lottery Headquarters for redemption; however, the risk of mailing tickets remains with the player.
A Winner Claim Form will need to be completed for prizes of $600 or more. These may be obtained from any Florida Lottery retailer, district office or on this website. Visit the How to Claim section for more information on how to claim a prize. Find a Lottery retailer near you. Visit the Lottery Offices section for the phone number, address and hours of operation of Lottery offices throughout the state.
How can I claim my Lottery prize when I live out-of-state?
To claim Florida Lottery prizes from out of state, you may fill out the back of your ticket and mail it, along with the required documentation*, to the following address:
250 Marriott Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32399-9939
The Lottery’s Claims Processing Division will process your ticket and mail you a check for any applicable prize. Federal law prohibits the mailing of Lottery tickets across state lines. Winners redeeming free FLORIDA LOTTO ® with XTRA tickets, free JACKPOT TRIPLE PLAY with COMBO™ tickets, free FANTASY 5 tickets, or free Scratch-Off tickets will receive a check for the retail value of their free ticket prize. Please note: The risk of mailing tickets remains with the player and will not be assumed by the Florida Lottery.
* A completed Winner Claim Form and a photocopy of the required identification are necessary to claim prizes of $600 or more. For more information, visit the How to Claim section of the website.
How long do I have to claim my Lottery prize? Will my ticket expire?
Prizes in Florida Lottery Draw games must be claimed within 180 days of the applicable draw date. Draw game prizes for which a single-payment cash option is available must be claimed within the first 60 days after the winning drawing to elect the cash option. Florida Lottery Scratch-Off and Fast Play game prizes must be claimed within 60 days of the official end-of-game date. Once the applicable time period has elapsed, the related Florida Lottery ticket will expire.
What percentage in taxes will the Lottery withhold from my prize?
The Internal Revenue Service requires that the Florida Lottery withhold 24 percent federal withholding tax from prizes greater than $5,000 if the winner is a citizen or resident alien of the U.S. with a Social Security number. The Florida Lottery is not required to withhold federal withholding taxes from prizes for $5,000 or less. If the prizewinner is a U.S. citizen or resident alien who does not have a Social Security number, the Florida Lottery is required to withhold 24 percent backup federal withholding tax from any prize of more than $600. For nonresident aliens, the Florida Lottery is required to withhold 30 percent federal withholding tax from all prize amounts. The Internal Revenue Service requires the Florida Lottery to report all winnings for $600 and above for U.S. citizens and resident aliens.
How quickly can I receive my money when I claim my prize? Will I receive a check or will it be directly deposited in my bank account?
The amount of the top prize will have a bearing on the length of time necessary to issue the prize payment. If the prize is less than $250,000, the player may receive the prize payment, less taxes when applicable, the same business day. If the prize amount is over $250,000, the prize payout, less taxes, will be ACH transferred to the winner’s bank account, within two business days. Further, prizes may be paid via check rather than ACH transfer. However, most players with prizes greater than $10,000 choose the security and speed of an ACH transfer, providing immediate use of funds once transferred. Regarding POWERBALL ® and MEGA MILLIONS ® jackpot prizes, because POWERBALL and MEGA MILLIONS are a multi-state games, the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) must collect the revenue from each of the 45 jurisdictions that participate in the games before the jackpot prize can be paid. Therefore, POWERBALL and MEGA MILLIONS jackpot prizes are not available until 15 days after the draw date. Regarding CASH4LIFE top prizes, because CASH4LIFE is a multi-state game, the participating states have two weeks to receive ACH transfers of funds from all nine CASH4LIFE members, so the earliest you may receive your CASH4LIFE top prize is on the 15th day after the winning draw date.
Tickets mailed to the Florida Lottery Headquarters will take approximately 30 days for the claims process. Damaged, state owed debt and disputed tickets may take longer.
What is the difference between cash option and annual payment option for FLORIDA LOTTO ® and JACKPOT TRIPLE PLAY ™ ?
The cash option is a one-time, lump-sum payment that jackpot winners may choose to receive instead of receiving their winnings in 30 annual payments for FLORIDA LOTTO ® , and 25 annual payments for JACKPOT TRIPLE PLAY ™ . Jackpot winners who want to receive a single cash payment must claim their prizes within the first 60 days after the draw date. Applicable federal income tax withholding will be deducted at the time payments are made for cash option and annual payments alike.
The cash option amount is not based on a set percentage, but rather is the amount required on the day of the drawing to purchase securities to fund the announced guaranteed deferred payment value of the jackpot prize paid over 30 years or 25 years, depending on the game. For FLORIDA LOTTO, and JACKPOT TRIPLE PLAY annual payment options, the Lottery will purchase U.S. treasury strips which will guarantee equal payments to the winner over a period of 30 years or 25 years, again depending on the game.
See FLORIDA LOTTO and JACKPOT TRIPLE PLAY game rules for complete details.
What is the difference between the cash option and annual payment option for MEGA MILLIONS ® , POWERBALL ® and CASH4LIFE ® ?
The cash option is a one-time, lump-sum payment that jackpot winners may choose to receive instead of receiving their winnings in 30 annual payments for both MEGA MILLIONS ® and POWERBALL ® games. Jackpot winners who want to elect to receive a single cash payment must claim their prizes within the first 60 days after the draw date. Applicable Federal income tax withholding will be deducted at the time payments are made for single cash payments and annual payments alike.
For POWERBALL, if the jackpot prize is not a guaranteed amount, the cash option amount offered will be the cash amount available in the jackpot prize pool divided by the number of winners. The annual payment option prize will be paid in 30 graduated annual installments.
For MEGA MILLIONS, the cash option amount offered will be the jackpot prize annual payment option amount as determined by the Mega Millions lotteries, divided by a rate established by the Mega Millions Finance Committee prior to each drawing, divided by the total jackpot winning MEGA MILLIONS plays and Just the Jackpot plays. The annual payment option prize will be paid in 30 graduated annual installments.
For CASH4LIFE ® , except as provided in the Official Game Rules, a CASH4LIFE top prize winner may choose to receive his or her portion of a top prize as an annual payment option or in a single cash payment. The top prize must be claimed within the first 60 days after the winning draw to elect the cash option. The annual payment based prize value paid to a sole winner shall be $1,000 a day for life paid in annual installments of $365,000 based on measuring the life of the winner (no less than 20 years). The cash option amount paid to a sole winner of the top prize will be $7,000,000.
Applicable withholding taxes will be deducted at the time payments are made for single cash payments and annual payments alike.
See POWERBALL, MEGA MILLIONS and CASH4LIFE game rules for complete details.
What if someone wins a jackpot or top prize and dies before the annual installments are paid?
If a jackpot or top prize winner dies before receiving all annual installments, the balance of the prize will be paid to the winner’s estate. Upon receipt of a court order, annual prize payments will continue to be paid to the winner’s heirs. POWERBALL ® and MEGA MILLIONS ® jackpot annual payments may be cashed out by the winner’s estate.
What happens to prizes that are not claimed?
Florida law requires that 80 percent of unclaimed prize funds from expired tickets be transferred directly to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund. The remaining 20 percent is returned to the prize pool from which future prizes are awarded or used for special prize promotions.
Should a POWERBALL ® or MEGA MILLIONS ® jackpot ticket not be claimed within the 180 days of the applicable draw date, the funds to pay the unclaimed jackpot will be returned to the lottery members in their proportion of sales for the jackpot rollover series.
Who can play and win Florida Lottery games?
Florida Lottery games can be played and won by adults 18 years of age or older, regardless of age, citizenship, race or financial status.
Can Lottery winners remain anonymous?
No. Florida Lottery winners cannot remain anonymous. Florida law mandates that the Florida Lottery provide the winner’s name, city of residence, game won, date won and amount won to any third party who requests the information; however Florida Lottery winners’ home addresses and telephone numbers are confidential.
Lottery Operations and Education
What does the Florida Lottery do with the money from ticket sales?
Proceeds from every dollar spent on Florida Lottery tickets help provide educational funding for Florida’s school children. Whether it’s Bright Futures scholarships, better books, technology for schools, or bonds for school construction, the proceeds from Florida Lottery ticket sales are transferred to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund (EETF) and appropriated by the Florida Legislature.
We recognize that the Lottery has an important obligation to keep players informed about contributions to the state’s public education system. To this end, we openly produce and publicize reports and information each year to highlight our transfers to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund (EETF), our operations and financial position. Located on our website, the Florida Lottery’s most recent Annual Report is currently available under the ABOUT US tab in the REPORTS section, as well as additional detailed information located under the EDUCATION tab. The information contained in these tabs includes transfer amounts to the EETF, county-by-county break downs of Lottery funds and where they are going, in addition to a variety of other financial and operational details.
How can I find more information about the Bright Futures Scholarships?
For more information on Bright Futures scholarships, please visit the Department of Education’s website, or call the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Student Financial Assistance toll-free at 1-888-827-2004.
© 2021 Florida Lottery, All Rights Reserved.
Must be 18 or older to play.