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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What if I win?
  2. Where can I cash my winning Vermont Lottery ticket?
  3. How do I claim a prize by mail?
  4. How much time do I have to cash in my winning ticket?
  5. What happens if I lose my winning lottery ticket?
  6. Will taxes be withheld from my winnings?
  7. A jackpot winner may select an ANNUITY or a CASH payment option. What's the difference?
  8. If a jackpot winner selects the ANNUITY option, what happens if he or she dies?
  9. If I win, can I remain anonymous?
  10. Where does the money generated by the Vermont Lottery go?
  11. What happens to unclaimed prize money?
  12. Can I play Vermont Lottery games by mail or through the internet?
  13. Where can I find the winning numbers?
  14. How many lotteries participate in Powerball®, Mega Millions® and Hot Lotto®?
  15. What states make up the Tri-State Lottery?
  16. What are the biggest Megabucks Plus®, Powerball®, Mega Millions® and Hot Lotto® jackpots ever won?
  17. What are the odds of winning a prize on a Vermont Lottery Instant Scratch game?
  18. Where and when are drawings held?

 

If you did not find your question here, please send an email to staff@vtlottery.com, so that we can answer it for you.

 


2. Where can I cash my winning Vermont Lottery ticket?

All Vermont Lottery agents are required to pay Vermont Lottery instant "scratch off" ticket prizes of up to $100, but may pay up to $499. For all other Vermont Lottery games, agents are required to pay prizes up to $499.

Vermont People's United Banks can pay prizes from $200 to $5,000 for Vermont Lottery instant scratch tickets and $500 to $5,000 for all other Vermont Lottery games. Winning tickets can be paid by Vermont People's United Banks from 7:45 AM to 4:30 PM on weekdays, excluding bank and state holidays.

Vermont Lottery Commission Headquarters in Berlin can pay winning Vermont Lottery tickets of any value, either in person or through the mail.

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3. How do I claim a prize by mail?

To claim a winning ticket by mail, fill out and sign the back of your ticket, including your name and address, and mail to: Vermont Lottery Commission, 1311 US Route 302, Suite 100, Barre VT  05641-2399.  For prizes over $499, please include your social security number, date of birth, country of citizenship and association with any Vermont Lottery agent (owner or an employee). This information is required for prizes over $499. Please call our office if you have any questions.. 

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4. How much time do I have to cash in my winning ticket?

Each of our Instant Scratch Games is released on an individual schedule. Most Instant Scratch Games are available for many months. Once an Instant game is no longer available to players, the game is "closed." All prizes for an Instant game must be claimed within one year after the game is closed. The last day to cash tickets for each game is posted here.

For all other Vermont Lottery games, you have 365 calendar days from the winning draw date to claim your prize.

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5. What happens if I lose my winning lottery ticket?

The Vermont Lottery is not responsible for lost or stolen tickets and cannot pay a prize without a valid winning ticket.

As a bearer instrument, a lottery ticket claim can be filed by anyone in possession of the ticket. That's why, if you win, it's important to protect yourself by signing your name and filling out all the information on the back of your winning ticket.

If you choose to mail your winning lottery ticket to Vermont Lottery Headquarters for payment, you should consider using a shipping method that tracks the package, especially for prizes of higher value.

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6. Will taxes be withheld from my winnings?

The Vermont Lottery withholds Federal and State taxes for any prize valued over $5,000. You will receive a W-2G Form (Certain Gambling Winnings) from the Vermont Lottery for any prize valued at $600 or more. Foreign Persons will receive a 1042-S (Foreign Person's U.S. Source of Income Subject to Withholding) for any prize valued at $600 or more.

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7. A jackpot winner may select an ANNUITY or a CASH payment option. What's the difference?

The annuitized value of a jackpot is the amount that the jackpot is worth when paid to a winner in installments. If the ANNUITY payment option is selected, Megabucks Plus winners are paid in 30 equal annual installments. Powerball and Mega Millions jackpot winners are paid in 30 graduated annual installments. Lucky for Life Top Prize winners are paid in equal annuity installments, either weekly, monthly or annually, for the life of the winner for a minimum of twenty (20) years.

The CASH payment option pays the jackpot prize in a one-time-only cash payment. The CASH payment option is no less than 50% of the annuitized estimated jackpot amount. It is less because it does not contain the interest that would have accumulated over the years of incremental prize payments. If the CASH payment option is selected, the jackpot winner receives the jackpot prize money that would have been invested in order to fund the annuitized jackpot. There is only a CASH payment option for Hot Lotto.

*If there are multiple winners of a jackpot on any given drawing, the jackpot prize money will be divided equally among all the jackpot winners for that drawing. Each winning jackpot ticket holder may select the ANNUITY or CASH payment option for his/her portion of the jackpot prize, according to each games rules.

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8. If a jackpot winner selects the ANNUITY option, what happens if he or she dies?

If a Vermont jackpot winner chooses the annuity option, all remaining annual payments go to the winner's estate in the event of his or her death. The Lucky for Life Top Prize is paid for a minimum of twenty (20) years. If a Lucky for Life Top Prize winner dies during the annuity payment but before the guaranteed twenty (20) year prize has been paid, his or her estate shall receive the remaining payments equal to the minimum prize. If a Lucky for Life Top Prize winner dies during the annuity payment period, but after the minimum guaranteed prize has been paid, all payments stop.

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9. If I win, can I remain anonymous?

The name, town and prize amount on your Claim Form is public information. If you put your name on the Claim Form, your name becomes public information. If you claim your prize in a trust, the name of the trust is placed on the Claim Form, and the name of the trust is public information.

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10. Where does the money generated by the Vermont Lottery go?

Breakdown of where the money goes for fiscal year 2013:

  • Prizes to players ($64.5 million)

  • Tri-State expenses ($1.1 million)

  • Agent commissions/bonuses ($6.0 million)

  • Operating/Administrative Expenses ($7.6 million)

  • Profit to Vermont Education Fund ($22.9 million)*

Graphs and Charts from 2003 to 2013

* In July 1998, the Vermont legislature mandated that all profits from the Lottery go to the State's Education Fund. Prior to that, all profits went to the State's General Fund.

For more information about how the Education Fund money is appropriated, contact the Vermont Department of Finance and Management at 802-828-2376. You can view the State's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) by going to http://finance.vermont.gov.

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11. What happens to unclaimed prize money?

Every year, some prizes go unclaimed by winners. The Vermont Lottery conducts second chance drawings for Instant Scratch Tickets to allow players an opportunity to win expired, unclaimed prizes.

Expired, unclaimed prize money for all other Vermont Lottery games goes back to players in the form of prizes.

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12. Can I play Vermont Lottery games by mail or through the internet?

You may purchase Powerball, Megabucks Plus and Mega Millions subscriptions through the mail as long as you have a Vermont mailing address. Subscriptions can be purchased for 26, 52 or 104 draws. To receive subscription forms in the mail, call the Vermont Lottery at 1-800-322-8800 (in VT) or 802-479-5686.

You may download subscription forms by clicking here

Vermont Lottery Instant Scratch Tickets cannot be purchased through the mail.

Vermont Lottery tickets cannot be purchased through the internet.

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13. Where can I find the winning numbers?

Winning numbers are posted on this web site usually within an hour after the draw. In addition, they are recorded on the Lottery's hotline 1-800-322-8800 (in VT) or 802-479-5686.

Powerball and Mega Millions drawings are aired on WCAX. Other local television stations show crawls of the winning numbers. Click here for a list of local TV stations and times for the draws/crawls.

Some local radio stations and area newspapers also pick up the winning numbers from the Associated Press. The Vermont Lottery is not responsible for incorrect numbers posted in area newspapers or announced on local radio stations.

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14. How many lotteries participate in Powerball®, Mega Millions® and Hot Lotto®?

There are 45 lotteries selling Powerball, 45 lotteries selling Mega Millions and 16 lotteries selling Hot Lotto.

Clicking on a link above will open a map showing each lottery that participates in that game.

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15. What states make up the Tri-State Lottery?

The states included in the Tri-State Lottery are Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

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16. What are the biggest Megabucks Plus®, Powerball®, Mega Millions® and Hot Lotto® jackpots ever won?

  Game Date Won Amount Won State
  Megabucks Plus® August 3, 2010 $12.5 Million New Hampshire (won by a Vermont resident)
  Powerball® November 28, 2012 $587.5 Million Arizona, Missouri (split win)
  Mega Millions® March 30, 2012 $640 Million
(World Record Jackpot)
Kansas, Illinois, Maryland (split win)
  Hot Lotto® January 13, 2007 $19.97 Million Iowa

 


17. What are the odds of winning a prize on a Vermont Lottery Instant Scratch game?

The odds of winning are different for every Instant Scratch Game. Each ticket back contains the approximate odds of winning by prize level.

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