With huge jackpots and the thought of ticking off your bucket list once and for all, it’s no surprise that more Canadians are playing lotteries.
To help you, we’ve put together a few things you should know about playing the lottery in Canada.
If you fancy your chances with a major Powerball jackpot, there’s good news. You don’t have to cross the border to get your tickets. You can purchase your tickets online through concierge services. These services allow you to pick your numbers and then purchase your tickets on your behalf.
If this sounds like your kind of way to play, remember to do a little homework first. You always want to buy from a reputable and above-board online lottery ticket service.
Alternatively, if you do happen to be in the United States at the time, you can purchase tickets in person at a licensed lottery retailer. Most outlets only accept cash or debit cards for Powerball tickets.
While Powerball winnings are subject to tax in the U.S., Canada won’t tax your lottery winnings. All non-U.S. residents who win the lottery are subject to 30 percent IRS taxation of your winnings. But there’s no need to report what’s left when you file your taxes in Canada.
In America, lottery winnings are seen as income. So, the bigger the prize, the more you have to pay the U.S. government. If you hit a big jackpot and choose a lump sum payout, instead of having your winnings paid out over a period of 29 years, you could risk as much as half of your winnings to tax.
As a Canadian citizen, you can play and collect Powerball prizes. The same goes for most other U.S. lotteries. Just check with a state lottery corporation before you purchase tickets.
If you enter America with a lottery ticket, it’s deemed illegal. That means if you buy your lottery tickets in person in the U.S., bring them home to Canada and then try to re-enter the United States with your ticket, you’re technically committing a crime. Your ticket will be seized.
There is one exception, and that is for any lottery tickets printed in Canada for use with a lottery that is run in the United States. Be aware, though, that Powerball tickets are printed in the U.S., so the exception doesn’t apply to Powerball.
However, Washington State lottery officials have recently addressed this law, providing at least a little comfort to Canadians bringing their U.S. lottery tickets home. If you are lucky enough to win the jackpot, officials say they are now willing to work with winners to ensure they get their prize.
If you’re worried about having your winning ticket confiscated, you could always leave it in the United States with a friend you trust or in a rented mailbox.
If you do have the Powerball winning combination, you’ll need to redeem your ticket in that state it was purchased in.
Similar to the U.S., Canadians who win the lottery will have their details published. In fact, there are just 6 states in America that allow winners to keep their identity a secret, while in Canada, winners' names, state, and winnings are made public. You’ll even have to take part in a public photo shoot.
You don’t have to miss out on big jackpots and the chance to strike it lucky when you live in Canada. Whether you cross the bored to buy tickets in person or purchase them online, you, too, can take a chance on this week’s lottery.
Find the latest Powerball results and tips at Powerball.ca.