How to Cash in a Winning Lottery Ticket

by Alia Nikolakopulos ; Updated September 11, 2015

Winning lottery tickets may only be redeemed in the state where the ticket was purchased. Prizes up to a certain amount may be redeemed at any store or location that sells lottery tickets. Prizes over a certain amount must be redeemed with the state lottery office. If your prize is over $600, the prize amount is reported to the IRS and you must pay taxes on the amount. The state lottery commission also sends a 1099 to you at the end of the year listing your prize over $600. Prizes that are less than $600 are not reported to the IRS and are not taxable.

Take your winning ticket to an authorized lottery retailer. You can redeem a winning ticket from any type of lottery game to an authorized retailer when your prize is less than $600. Authorized retailers include stores and other venues that sell lottery tickets in your state.

Take your lottery ticket to a state lottery office. You may redeem your winning lottery ticket with any state lottery office. Although the lottery office cashes out winning tickets for any prize amount, many players take tickets showing a prize of over $600 to the lottery office. To redeem with the office, you must sign the back of your ticket. Visit the website for the winning ticket’s state lottery to locate claim offices.

Mail in a claim form. If you do not wish to visit the lottery office in person, you may mail your winning ticket, along with a claim form, to the lottery office for the state where the ticket was purchased. If you live in a state other than the state you purchased the winning ticket, you may also use the mail-in method to redeem your prize. Locate claim forms on the state lottery website for the state where the winning ticket was purchased.

About the Author

With a background in taxation and financial consulting, Alia Nikolakopulos has over a decade of experience resolving tax and finance issues. She is an IRS Enrolled Agent and has been a writer for these topics since 2010. Nikolakopulos is pursuing Bachelor of Science in accounting at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.