Frequently Asked Questions about Claiming a Washington's Lottery Prize
When are the drawings?
Washington's Lottery drawings are held at 8:00 pm Pacific Time on designated drawing days.
Powerball: Wednesday and Saturday
Lotto: Monday, Wednesday and Saturday
Hit 5: Monday, Wednesday and Saturday
Mega Millions: Tuesday and Friday
Match 4: Seven days a week
Daily Keno: Seven days a week
Daily Game: Seven days a week
How do I find out if I won?
There are several ways for you to check your tickets.
- Check winning numbers on walottery.com.
- Use the Check-A-Ticket machine found at any Lottery retailer.
- Join the Players Club to get winning numbers emailed to you every day.
- Call the Lottery's Winning Numbers Hotline: 1-800-545-7510.
- Check your local daily newspaper for winning numbers.
- Ask a Lottery retailer to check your ticket for you.
I'm already a member of the Players Club. Why am I getting outdated results?
Your computer may be displaying what it has saved in memory from a previous visit to the Lottery site. Try clicking the Refresh key to get updated results. The Refresh key is on your Internet browser's View drop-down menu. Use the Reload key if your browser is Netscape Navigator. You should then begin to receive updated results.
What do I do if I have a winning ticket? How do I claim my prize?
If you find out that you have a winning ticket, congratulations! All winners are advised to:
- Sign the back of your ticket.
- Keep it in a cool, secure, dry place.
- If your prize is $600 or under, you may claim your winnings at any Washington's Lottery retailer subject to validation. Some smaller retailers may not carry enough cash on hand to pay prizes over $100, so you may wish to take larger prizes in this category to a large retailer that carries enough cash.
- If your prize is $601 or more, you can claim at any Lottery regional office . When claiming prizes of $1,000,000 or more, please call a Lottery office to receive more information and make an appointment to claim.
- The Lottery Prize Claim Form is available to view on our site.
NOTE: Jackpots over $100 million must be claimed at Washington’s Lottery Headquarters, 814 E 4th Avenue, Olympia WA.
Please call in advance - 1-800-732-5101 ext. 3
You must bring the following items to make your claim:
- The winning ticket (sign the back!)
- Picture identification
- Social Security card
- A voided check (optional)
Can I claim my prize by mail?
For prizes of $600 or less, complete the information on the back of a winning ticket, make sure you have signed the ticket, and mail it to:
Washington Lottery Headquarters
PO Box 43050
Olympia, WA 98504-3050
This address is also on the back of your ticket.
For prizes of $601 and more, download a Lottery prize claim form . Complete the form and send it to the address listed on the form. This form is required for tax purposes, along with the winner's social security number. Lottery prize claim forms may also be picked up at any Lottery retailer or office statewide.
All Lottery jackpot, cashpot and Mega Millions second tier prizes of $250,000 must be claimed in person at a Lottery office, as well as any scratch ticket prize of a million or more. Due to the claim process involved, please call your nearest Lottery office in advance to make an appointment to claim and receive important information on what identification to bring.
Do Lottery computers know whether I've won when I buy my ticket?
Not at all. The purchase of a Lottery game ticket and the random drawing of the winning numbers on drawing nights are totally separate. Nobody knows if there is a winner until after the drawing.
Why should I sign my ticket?
Like currency or dollar bills, Lottery tickets are 'bearer instruments' in that the holder of the ticket is the owner, unless the ticket is signed. By signing the back of your Lottery ticket, you make the ticket officially "yours." Only the person whose name matches the signature on the ticket may claim its winnings.
Do I need my ticket in order to pick up my prize?
Yes! You must present your game ticket in order to receive your winnings.
What happens if my ticket gets lost or stolen?
You must present your winning ticket in order to claim your prize. Without your ticket, there is no proof of ownership and, therefore, you will not be able to collect your winnings. In the event your ticket is lost or stolen, signing your ticket acts as a security measure against someone else trying to claim your prize. As the ticket owner, your signature must match that on the back of ticket in order to claim. If you misplace your ticket and do not redeem it within the 180 day claim period, you will forfeit your prize.
What happens if I'm not the only winner?
If more than one Lotto, Hit 5, Mega Millions or Powerball® ticket has matched all the winning numbers, the jackpot prize is divided equally. Top prizes in The Daily Game, Daily Keno, Scratch and Match 4 are not divided among multiple winners.
Can I redeem my winning ticket at the store where I bought it?
If your prize is $600 or under, you may claim at any Lottery retailer subject to validation. However, if your winning ticket is worth more than $600, you must claim your winnings at any one of the five Washington's Lottery regional offices . Call the Lottery office to make an appointment to claim if your prize is $1,000,000 or more.
Do I need to bring anything with me to claim my winnings?
If you are claiming a prize of $600 or more at a Lottery regional office, you must bring your winning ticket with you.
Winners of jackpot prizes must provide photo identification as well as proof of their social security number.
I received an email/letter/phone call from someone telling me I won. Is it legitimate?
Most likely no. Washington's Lottery does not collect personal information at the point of sale, so we have no way of knowing who has purchased a winning ticket. Unfortunately, as technology, and the Internet in particular, has advanced, so has the complexity of Lottery scams and fraud. Washington's Lottery is frequently alerted to fraudulent Web sites, emails, letter scams and other tools used to rob consumers of their money and peace of mind. Many of these scams are clever and well-executed, but they do not represent Washington's Lottery or licensed Lottery retailers.Washington's Lottery reminds its players to keep the following in mind:
- You must purchase a Lottery ticket in order to receive a prize.
- The only legal Lottery ticket is one purchased at a licensed Lottery retail store location.
- There is no fee to redeem a winning ticket from Washington's Lottery or any legitimate Lottery.
- Washington's Lottery does not collect credit card or personal financial information during the sale or redemption process.
- U.S. law prohibits the sale or purchase of foreign lottery tickets by phone or mail.
- The use of Washington's Lottery's name or logo in association with any of the activities described is illegal, and should not be construed as an endorsement.
For more information on Lottery scams and how you can protect yourself, click here.
I am not a U.S. citizen. Can I win the jackpot?
Yes. You do not need to be a U.S. citizen to play or to claim a prize. Nonresidents will be required to provide an address outside of the U.S. and 30 percent of the prize amount will be automatically deducted for federal taxes.
How long do I have to claim my winnings?
Winners have 180 days from the drawing date to claim their prize. Scratch ticket winners have 180 days from the official end of the game to claim their prize.
What is the difference between claiming Cash or Annuity Options?
For Lotto, the 'Cash Option' means winners have the choice of receiving a one-time, lump-sum payment worth half of their share of the advertised jackpot. The 'Annuity Option' allows a winner to take their share of the jackpot in annual installments over 25 years. To see approximate amounts for Lotto cash or annuity options, see the Cash Option Reference Table.
For Mega Millions, winners can choose the 'Cash Option' and receive a lump sum payment. Winners choosing the 'Annuity Option' receive their share of the jackpot in annual installments paid over 25 years (26 payments).
For Powerball, winners can choose the 'Cash Option' and receive a lump sum payment. Winners choosing the 'Annuity Option' receive their share of the jackpot in annual installments paid over 29 years (30 payments).
Do jackpot winners get interest on the 25-year annuity?
No, because the Lottery does not keep the full jackpot on hand. The Lottery purchases securities which mature over time to cover the payment to the winner.
How long do jackpot winners have to make their choice after they claim their prize?
Winners have 60 days after claiming their jackpot prize at a Lottery office to make their choice, whether they choose the traditional annuity or cash option. Winners who do not make a choice within 60 days will receive their prize as an annuity.
What happens if a jackpot winner dies before receiving all of their payments?
By law, the remaining installment payments become part of the winner's estate in the event his/her death precludes collecting full payment. The winner's estate has the option, in most cases, of continuing to receive annual payments or requesting that the Lottery Director allow a one-time payment of the current cash value of the remaining winnings.
Do I have to claim taxes on my prize?
Lottery prizes are considered earned income by the federal government. The Lottery is required to report any single prize of over $600 to the IRS. The current tax rate is 25 percent. If the prize is over $5,000 the Lottery is required to withhold and forward taxes at the time the prize is paid. Winners will be sent a W-2G form at year's end to use in filing their tax returns.
When claiming a significant amount of money, you may wish to consult a tax advisor as your win could elevate you to a new tax bracket and, therefore, warrant additional withholdings.
Can I have more taxes withheld if I choose?
Yes, if your prize is over $5,000. Simply let the Lottery customer service representative who handles your prize claim know the amount you'd like withheld before claiming your prize.
Are any other monies taken out of my prize?
Washington's Lottery is required to check for debts owed to the State of Washington on prizes over $600. Debt owed to the state, such as child support payments, will be subtracted from the prize amount prior to prize payment.
Can I remain anonymous if I claim by establishing a trust?
As a public agency, all documents held by Washington's Lottery are subject to the Public Records Act. Lottery prizes may be claimed in the name of a legally formed entity, such as a trust. However, in the event of a public records request, the documents forming the artificial entity may be released, thereby revealing the individual names of winners.
I won as part of a 'group play.' Do we all claim the prize?
Washington’s Lottery pays only individuals or legal entities whose formation papers are consistent with WAC 315-06-120 and approved by the Director at the time of claim.
I won! Can I give the ticket to a family member?
If the ticket is unsigned, anyone can claim the prize. If the ticket is signed, the claimant can sign the ticket over to another person if they so choose.
What happens to unclaimed prize money?
By law, all unclaimed prizes must be given back to Lottery players in the form of prizes. Typically, such monies are used to fund prize promotions or second chance drawing prizes. Unclaimed Top Prizes are listed on the Lottery's Web site.
Call 1-800-HOW-2-PLAY (1-800-469-2752). State Lottery prizes are not exempt from federal income tax. You must be at least 18 years of age to purchase. Be a smart player. Know your limit. Problem Gambling Helpline: 1-800-547-6133.