After winning the lottery, the first step is completing the back of your ticket, including your name, address, phone number and signature. Remember, each lottery ticket is a bearer document, meaning it is legally owned by whomever possesses it, at least until it is signed.
Lottery winners of jackpot prizes, annuity prizes and other prizes of $100,000 or more should check out the Pennsylvania Lottery’s Winners’ Handbook for helpful hints on what to do before and after claiming their prizes.
Pennsylvania Lottery retailers can pay lottery prizes up to and including $2,500. If you’ve won more than $600 on a single ticket, you must fill out a standard claim form and send it to the PA Lottery headquarters. You can obtain a standard claim form at any licensed Lottery retailer or one of the Lottery’s seven area offices. Or, you may fill out the claim form online, print it out and take it with your winning ticket to your nearest area office.
If you’ve won more than $2,500, the PA Lottery will process your claim form and send you a Lottery prize check within four to six weeks.
Winners of Cash 5, Quinto, Treasure Hunt and Match 6 jackpots or top prizes may file prize claims at Lottery headquarters in Middletown or any Lottery area office.
A Powerball® or Mega Millions® jackpot winner must file a claim form at Lottery headquarters in Middletown.
If you’ve won an annuity top prize for an instant game like $1,000 A Week for Life, you must claim your prize at Lottery headquarters. For a cash top prize from an instant game, you can fill out a claim form at a Lottery retailer or any area office.
Typically, it takes approximately four to six weeks to process your claim once it has been received at Lottery headquarters. However, if your prize claim is received in December, it will be processed at the beginning of the new year to ensure prize payments and tax forms are issued in the same calendar year.
Winners have up to one year from the date of a drawing to claim a prize from one of the Pennsylvania Lottery’s terminal-based games: Powerball, Mega Millions, Cash 5, Match 6 Lotto, Treasure Hunt, The Daily Number, Big 4, Quinto and Millionaire Raffle. Such claims can be made at any retailer location within 180 days of the drawing date. After 180 days, however, winners must file a claim form for terminal-based prizes that exceed $100. A winning instant ticket may be presented for prize payment up to one year after the game’s end-sale date. The Lottery maintains a list of instant games that have ended sales on its website to assist players.
A Powerball or Mega Millions jackpot winner or annuity top prize winner must file a claim form in person at Lottery headquarters in Middletown, but any other out-of-state winner can mail a claim to Lottery headquarters. Sign your ticket and make a copy of the ticket, front and back, for your records. Then send the original ticket to the following address:
1200 Fulling Mill Road, Suite 1
Middletown, PA 17057
Individual checks for group prize claims will be issued only for prizes of $50,000 or more where individual shares of the prize are $2,501 or more.
To request individual checks for qualifying group prize claims, winners must indicate on claim forms that they want individual checks. Each member of the group must complete IRS form 5754 to accompany the claim form at the time of submission. Additionally, beneficiary forms will be provided to group members if individual shares are $500,000 or more.
Annuity top prizes for instant games like $1,000 A Week for Life cannot be shared.
PA Lottery prizes are not subject to state or local taxes for Pennsylvania residents.
Federal tax law requires the Lottery to withhold 25 percent in federal taxes from prizes over $5,000.
In addition, for all prizes of more than $600, you will receive a W-2G form from the Lottery to report your gambling winnings and submit with your tax return.
Total federal taxes on Lottery prizes depends on income, deductions, exemptions and other factors, and a tax attorney or accountant will be able to help you calculate the tax implications of your prize.
A brochure from the IRS about gambling winnings may be of assistance.
Certain winner information is public under Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law. Pennsylvania Lottery policy also permits the publishing of the following information on its website:
Name and/or partial name of the winner(s)
City and/or county of residence
Name of game won
Date of win
The Pennsylvania Lottery must be accountable to the taxpayers and residents who benefit from Lottery-funded programs, and transparency of operations is important to the Lottery’s integrity. Providing winners’ information is also of interest to players who want to see the winners of the games they play.
Players appearing in Winners’ Circle Stories have specifically granted the Lottery permission to share their photo, name and story.
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Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the winning numbers, prize payouts and other information posted on the Pennsylvania Lottery's Web site. The official winning numbers are those selected in the respective drawings and recorded under the observation of an independent accounting firm. In the event of a discrepancy, the official drawing results shall prevail.