Lottery Ticket Gifts – Who's the Actual Winner

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Lottery Ticket Gifts – Who’s the Actual Winner
  • Author:
    William Monroe
  • Published:

If you give a lottery ticket as a gift, who actually owns it.

One of the easiest and potentially most welcome gifts you can give someone is lottery tickets. Many people appreciate lottery tickets as gifts as they themselves did not have to buy the tickets, so each gift ticket is a free chance at hitting the jackpot. Everyone knows, gifter and giftee, that the chances of winning anything are low. But in that rare moment that one of the tickets actually hits the jackpot, something may arise between the parties. Who actually is the rightful winner of the jackpot?

Giving Lottery Tickets As Gifts

It all comes down to the actual definition of a gift. It is a present or item voluntarily given to someone without any expectation of anything in return. The gifter is giving the gift, including the ownership of the gift, to the giftee. So the ticket, and any winnings, belong to you. The gifter is unable to claim anything on the ticket. It was their property to give away and they gave it to you.

In most gaming jurisdictions, it is assumed that the person who received the ticket as a gift is the rightful owner of the ticket and the rightful owner of the prize. Of course, this is subject to the giftee having signed the ticket. If the gifter gives the ticket to the giftee, but has signed it themselves, then the gifter is the one who owns the ticket, even if the intention was to honestly give the ticket to the giftee.

You would think that this would be common sense for everyone. If you get a lottery ticket as a gift, anything won on it is yours. However, there have been a few gifters who discover that a gifted ticket has won and try to claim the winnings themselves, or a least try to claim that the giftee owes them something for receiving a winning lottery ticket as a gift. If you win on a gifted ticket, you are under no obligation to give one red cent to the gifter. All that money is yours. You may wish to give them a little bit, or buy them dinner as a thank-you for them giving you the ticket, and most times the gifter would actually expect you to give some money back to them or buy them something.

When a Gift May Cost You a Friend

But you are the only one who can make that decision and whatever you decide is what will happen. Some gifters may try to say that they gave you the “wrong ticket” and your ticket is actually theirs and will try to get it back. They might try to sue you. But really, any judge is going to side with you unless there was absolute proof that you received the wrong ticket, or that there was never any understanding between you and gifter that any winnings would be shared or belonged to the gifter.

Unless you have a written agreement (or possibly verbal) that says anything outside of the definition of a gift, then the gifter has no legal grounds to claim all or part of your winnings on a lottery ticket.

You may, out of normal human decency, thank them for the ticket by giving them some money or buying them something nice. But you are under no obligation to do so. If you receive a lottery ticket as a gift, make sure it is unsigned, sign it right away, and ensure there is no intention of the gifter expecting any compensation in return. This will help to ensure that you are the rightful owner of the ticket and the rightful winner of the prize.

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