Powerball Legalities – How to Play the Game

Canadians can legally play the US Powerball
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  • Author:
    Shaun Greer
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Whether or not Canadians can legally play the US Powerball is sometimes a confusing area. But the good news is that you can. It’s perfectly legal!

The Powerball lottery offers some of the biggest prizes around. In fact, in 2016 the lottery awarded its world-record jackpot of a massive $1.58 billion.

Don’t worry if you don’t win the big prize, you stand to win in one of any of the other eight prize divisions. Play the Power Play or multiplier option, and you could even double the second division prize to a rather handsome $2 million.

So, what’s it all about? Let’s take a look at the ins and outs of the US Powerball so you get a good idea of how to play the game.

The Rules

To play the Powerball lottery, you need to pick five numbers that range from 1 to 69. You then pick an extra number (the Powerball) which is separate from the first group and ranges from 1 to 26.

If your ticket matches five numbers from the first set and the additional Powerball number, you’ve hit the jackpot (although you might have to share it if there are other winning tickets out there).

Besides the big 2016 jackpot, other notable wins include a single ticket that won $758.7 million in 2017 and a single ticket that won $590.5 million in 2013. So, there’s no denying there are big prizes up for grabs when you play the US Powerball.

Who Can Legally Play Powerball?

Here’s where the good news comes in.

You can purchase your Powerball tickets, win the Powerball and collect your jackpot no matter where you are in the world.

The only restriction, really, is that you must be 18 years or older to play. You can buy your tickets in any US state that offers the lottery, or online if you live in Canada.

If you do win, just remember that where you live affects what happens should you win.

For instance, different states have set different rules about whether or not jackpot winners can remain anonymous.

If you live outside the United States, you’ll need to find out how lottery prizes are taxed. If you are lucky enough to scoop a big prize, the first thing to do is consult with a tax expert and a financial advisor.

Changing Your Winnings from Annuity to Cash

The federal guidelines suggest that if you scoop the jackpot and you didn’t choose the cash option at the time of buying your Powerball ticket, you do have a chance to pick the cash option.

But not all US states adopt this particular guideline. So, make sure you check with your state and country to find out their policy on changing the payout option after winning.

Remaining Anonymous in the Eyes of the Media and Public If You Win the Jackpot

In most US states, lottery winner information remains public domain, in other words, it becomes public information.

The information that is publicized usually includes the winner’s name, county, city, the date the winner won and how much was won.

You Must Claim Your Prize Within a Certain Timeframe

Claim periods for winnings vary from 90 days up to a year.

Once that claim period expires, your prize is reclaimed by the state in which the ticket was purchased.

Where unclaimed prize money goes to varies from one US state to the next.

Generally, the funds are used for education programmes, security, senior citizen’s welfare and also to increase future prize pools.

Could You Be the Next Powerball Winner?

Fortunately for Canadians, playing the US Powerball lottery has never been easier. Simply hop online and purchase your tickets.

Make sure you find out about taxes and timeframes for claiming your prize, and everything will be smooth sailing from there!

Could you be the next big winner?

You’ve got to play to try!

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