A LAWYER has offered a series of tips that lottery players should follow if they come up trumps on the game of chance.
The legal expert urged players to sign and put their address on the ticket as soon as they buy it.
Jennifer L Sellers, a senior member at The Cavanagh Law Firm, said players should keep their lottery tickets safe once they’ve bought them.
In an article for the Queen Creek Sun-Times, she warned: “If you lose the ticket, you are out of luck.”
Sellers explained that anyone can redeem a ticket that hasn’t been signed.
She also warned players face a choice when it comes to how they receive their winnings.
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The lottery expert urged players to cash in their winning tickets.
She explained that all Arizona lottery vendors will redeem prizes of up to $100 and may redeem prizes of up to $599.
But, prizes of $600 or more have to be claimed at an Arizona Lottery office.
The rules regarding prize redemption may differ across states.
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Sellers also revealed that players who win $100,000 or more in Arizona can remain anonymous permanently.
But, the winner’s city and county where they live are not kept confidential, according to state law.
Meanwhile, players in Arizona who pocket $600 are confidential for 90 days after the prize has been awarded.
Lottery winners can also remain anonymous in states including:
- New Jersey
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
Meanwhile, officials in Mississippi and Missouri won’t publicly identify a winner if they’ve not received permission.
In West Virginia, players that win $1million and more can remain anonymous, per Fox News.
DECIDE HOW TO RECEIVE PAYMENT
Sellers also told lottery winners that they should decide how to claim their prize.
Lottery players receive their winnings as a lump, bumper sum, or in installments over months or years.
Sellers warned that players have a 60-day window to choose how they want to receive their prize.
The legal expert recommended that players should talk with a lawyer before deciding.
Sellers warned that lottery players will be hit with state and federal taxes before they get their hands on the prize.
The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) takes almost 25 percent of the amount in tax.
Players may also be taxed on a state level, but income tax rates differ across states.
Florida doesn’t have state income tax but in New York, the income tax rate ranges between four percent and 10.9 percent.
Sellers warned that Arizona is among two states that tax the winnings of players living out of state.
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