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oregon lottery taxes

State of Oregon wants its lottery taxes despite shutting down video poker

Roughly 550 bars and restaurants have been asked to pay. Beth Nakamura/Staff (file)

Hundreds of bars and restaurants already struggling to survive are now facing another financial setback. The Oregon Lottery is collecting taxes on each video lottery machine, even though the machines are shut down.

“I was absolutely floored. I could not believe it,” said Gloria Huguley, owner of Newport Steak and Seafood.

Huguley said she owes $2,082 in taxes for the six video lottery machines in her restaurant, which remains closed due to stay-at-home restrictions. The family-run restaurant, with 18 employees, is struggling to survive.

“If I were to shut down it would be very, very emotional and very hard because I love my employees,” said Huguley.

The tax bill is especially frustrating for Huguley because the machines aren’t working. The lottery shut them down on March 17.

“We have no authority to waive it,” said Matt Shelby, spokesperson for the Oregon Lottery. Shelby said the lottery collects the annual amusement device tax on behalf of the Oregon Department of Revenue.

Unlike personal income taxes, which have been pushed back, state revenue wants its tax money from video lottery machines right now. Roughly 550 bars and restaurants have been asked to pay.

“Taxes were incurred before the terminals were turned off and the retailers were compensated for the earnings, which triggered the additional tax,” Rich Hoover, spokesperson for the Department of Revenue wrote in an email to KGW.

Hoover said the state agency is willing to work with retailers to come up with a payment plan.

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State of Oregon wants its lottery taxes despite shutting down video poker Roughly 550 bars and restaurants have been asked to pay. Beth Nakamura/Staff (file) Hundreds of bars and restaurants

When You Win

If you won, Congratulations! But now what? Where do you claim your prize? Do you owe taxes? What are your payment options? Read below for all the answers. But before you do, sign the back of your winning ticket and take a deep breath. It feels good to win. In most cases, you have up to a year to claim your prize—plenty of time to get all the answers you need. So celebrate!

NOTICE: Salem and Wilsonville lottery offices are currently closed to the public.

Although you can’t visit us in person, the Lottery’s payment center is staffed and operating. We are currently fulfilling most prizes by mail-in claims. Read below for more information on how to claim and learn about exceptions to the mail-in requirement.

Claiming Prizes by Mail

Our Salem and Wilsonville offices are closed to the public, but we’re still hard at work fulfilling mail-in claims by the hundreds each week!

If you won up to $50,000!
If you’re a winner of up to $50,000, be sure to sign the back of your ticket. Complete the Winner Claim Form – English, Spanish, and mail it in with your signed, original winning ticket to the Lottery office in Salem (mail-in claims are not processed at the Wilsonville payment center). Be sure to keep a copy for your own records. We recommend sending your ticket by registered mail.

Mail to:
Oregon Lottery
PO Box 14515
Salem, OR 97309

Note: Because we need your physical winning ticket, we are unable to accept claims by fax or email.

When will I get my prize?

The simple answer is as soon as possible!

But with mailing, processing time, and staffing levels that are sometimes impacted by this year’s unique challenges, pinning down an exact timeline is difficult. We’ve outlined the process below to give you a better idea of what to expect.

Be assured that, just like you, we want to get your prize processed quickly. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Prize Claim Timeline

WIN! The first step might just be the hardest. But if you’re here to claim a prize, you already did it. Congratulations!

SEND Unless your win qualifies as an exception to the main-in process (see above), sign your ticket and mail it to us with your claim form – ideally by registered mail.

PROCESSING Once we get your claim, we’ll start the process of issuing your Elan Prepaid Card or check. Processing time depends on how many prize claims we’ve received and staffing levels. Although we work as quickly as we can, please allow up to three weeks for this step.

RETURN MAIL Yay! Your prepaid card or check is on its way. Once it’s in your hands, you’re on your own for the final step – deciding what to do with your win. Congrats!

How to Claim Your Prize

Jackpot Prizes

Prize

Up to $600

Prizes up to $600 may be claimed at any Lottery retailer. Staying home? Prizes up to $50,000 should be claimed by mail. See details in “Claiming prizes by mail” to get more info and download the Winner Claim Form.

Prize

$601-$49,999

For now, prizes up to $50,000 should be claimed by mail. See details in “Claiming prizes by mail” to get more info and download the Winner Claim Form.

Prize

$50,000+

If you’re lucky enough to have a big win over $50,000, you’ll need to make an appointment to come to the Oregon Lottery office in Salem. Call 503-540-1000 for assistance.

Most prizes can be claimed by mail

Scratch It Prizes

Prize

Up to $600

Prizes up to $600 may be claimed at any Lottery retailer. Staying home? Prizes up to $50,000 should be claimed by mail. See details in “Claiming prizes by mail” to get more info and download the Winner Claim Form.

Prize

$601-$49,999

For now, prizes up to $50,000 should be claimed by mail. See details in “Claiming prizes by mail” to get more info and download the Winner Claim Form.

Prize

$50,000+

If you’re lucky enough to have a big win over $50,000, you’ll need to make an appointment to come to the Oregon Lottery office in Salem. Call 503-540-1000 for assistance.

Most prizes can be claimed by mail

Video Lottery Prizes

Prize

Up to $1,250

Video Lottery prizes of up to $1,250 may be claimed at the retailer where the prize was won (within 28 days of the date the ticket was issued).

Video Lottery prizes of any amount can also be claimed by mail at any time (you have one year to claim by mail). See details in “Claiming prizes by mail” to get more info and download the Winner Claim Form.

Prize

Prizes over $1,250 may be claimed by mail up to a year after winning. See details in “Claiming prizes by mail” to get more info and download the Winner Claim Form.

Most prizes can be claimed by mail

Mail-in Claim Exceptions

Currently, most winners must claim their prizes by mail, but there are a couple of exceptions.

  • Scratch-it, Keno, and jackpot drawing winners of up to $600 can be claimed at any Oregon Lottery retailer (or claimed by mail at the Lottery)
  • Video Lottery winners of up to $1,250 can be claimed at the Lottery retail location when the prize was won (or claimed by mail at the Lottery)
  • If you win on Oregon Lottery Scoreboard, our sports betting app, your prizes and taxes are managed through the Scoreboard app.
  • If you won $50,000 or more on any game (except Scoreboard), you’ll need to come to the Lottery’s Salem office in person to claim your prize. Sign the back of your winning ticket and call 503-540-1000 to make an appointment.

In most cases, you have up to a year to claim your prize. Some winners may opt to postpone their claim as our open hours may change over time. If you choose to delay claiming your prize, it’s especially important to sign your ticket and keep it in a safe place.

Prize Payments by Oregon Lottery Elan Prepaid Card

Mailed-in prize claims of up to $20,000 will be fulfilled with an easy to use Oregon Lottery Elan Prepaid Card (larger prizes will be issued by check).

  • You will have instant access to your winnings. Use your prepaid card anywhere VisaВ® debit and credit cards are accepted.
  • Want cash? Oregon Lottery Elan Prepaid Cards may be used at almost any ATM across the state. To avoid transaction fees, visit your nearest MoneyPass ATM.
  • Video Lottery prizes up to $1,250 can still be claimed at the Lottery retail location where the prize was won. All other Oregon Lottery prizes up to $600 can be claimed at any Oregon Lottery retailer.

Tax and Payout Information

State Tax

The Oregon Lottery automatically withholds an 8% state tax on all prizes of $1,500 or more. This follows state law effective January 1, 2018.

Federal Tax

Non-Video Lottery prizes over $5,000 will have both the 8% state and 24% federal taxes withheld.

For Video Lottery prizes, only the 8% state tax withheld.

W2G

At the time you get your prize, the Lottery will provide you with your W2G.

Residency

If a winner is a non-resident alien, the Lottery is required to withhold 30% federal withholding tax from all prize payments. For prizes of $1,500 and more, Oregon state tax withholding is 8%.

Jackpot Games Payout Options

Cash or Annuity?

You’ve won an Oregon Lottery jackpot! Yay. Did you know you have a couple of options on how to take your prize winnings?

If you win a jackpot playing Powerball, Mega Millions or Oregon’s Game Megabucks, you have two options – choose between a one-time cash payment or you can receive 30 annual installments. You’ll need to choose one when you come to the Lottery office to claim your prize.

Not sure what to do?! You have the option of validating your winning ticket at the Lottery office and then take some time – not too much time – to consider how to take your prize. You’ll need to make your choice within 60 days of the date you brought your winning ticket to the Lottery to be validated.

I’ll Take the Lump Sum, Please!

If you choose the one-time cash payment, you will receive one-half of the advertised prize in one lump sum.

I’d Like 30 Years of Prize Payments!

You second option is to choose the 30-year annuity. Winners of a Powerball, Mega Millions or Oregon’s Game Megabucks jackpot prize who choose the 30-year annuity, fill out a beneficiary designation form when you claim your prize. This form designates who will receive the remaining annuity payments if the winner passes away before the 30-year annuity payments have ended.

OREGON LOTTERY DOLLARS DO SO MANY GOOD THINGS

Have you won? Congratulations! Some prizes can be claimed from the retailers; others are paid by the Lottery only. Learn how and where to claim your prize.