CLAIM A PRIZE & TAX REQUIREMENTS
Have you got a winning ticket? Congratulations!
Here you will find instructions on how to claim a prize and information on tax requirements related to your prize.
If you're reading this page, it means one of two things: You've won the lottery, or you're an extremely positive thinker. Either way, congratulations are in order.
Now comes the fun part: claiming your prize. Just follow these directions and you'll be on your way.
First, sign the back of your ticket immediately. Then take it to any New Jersey Lottery Retailer for validation. If your prize is worth $599.50 or less, you can receive your winnings in cash at any New Jersey Lottery Retailer.
If your prize is over $599.50, you must file a claim form with the New Jersey Lottery. Claim forms are available at all New Jersey Lottery Retailers or at New Jersey Lottery Headquarters. Due to safety precautions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 it takes approximately four to six weeks to receive a check from the New Jersey Lottery Proper identification for tax purposes must be presented at the time of the claim for reporting to the Internal Revenue Service.
Winners of the New Jersey Lottery may choose to remain anonymous. However, to file a claim, proper identification must be presented for internal processing and for reporting to the Internal Revenue Service. For more information, see: The State Lottery Law, N.J.S.A. 5:9-1 et seq.
If you have a ticket that looks like a winner but is damaged, will not scan properly, or is showing no prize or a different value than expected, file a claim and include a brief note explaining the issue so that we may investigate the ticket.
For out of state winners, download, fill out and print the Claim Form and instructions. The New Jersey Lottery also suggests that you make a copy of your Claim Form and the tickets (front & back) in the rare event of a delay or loss in the mail. Staple your signed tickets to the Claim Form. Enclose the Claim Form and tickets in an envelope and mail to:
NEW JERSEY LOTTERY
P.O. Box 041
Trenton NJ 08625-0041
Prize Claim FAQs
Prizes of $599.50 or less can be redeemed at Lottery retailers. Prizes of $600 or more must be redeemed by New Jersey Lottery Claim Form. Prizes are subject to federal tax withholding at the time of payment. The group should assign one person to serve as the contact.
The CONTACT person should sign and complete the New Jersey Lottery Claim Form on behalf of the group.
The CONTACT person's Social Security Number will be entered on Line 9 of the Claim Form and will serve as the primary recipient of the prize.
IRS form 5754 must be completed in order to share the prize and related taxes (if applicable).
IT IS UP TO THE GROUP TO MAKE COPIES OF THE TICKET, AND ALL CLAIM FORMS FOR MEMBERS OF THE GROUP
While the New Jersey Lottery recommends that winners seek professional financial and tax advice, it does not offer such advice or refer winners to specific individuals.
All winners, tickets, transactions, drawings, prizes and prize payments are subject to New Jersey Lottery Rules and Regulations and State Law. In the case of a married couple that files a joint tax return, a single claim form can be filed and a single check will be processed.
A group can claim a term annuity prize, and the Lottery would send separate checks to each winner each year. Please note, though, that this is only for term annuities. Life annuities (like those associated with our "Win for Life" instant ticket game) can only be claimed by one person. Also, if a group chooses the annuity option, they have the option of requesting that the New Jersey Lottery sell that annuity on their behalf within 60 days. However, the sale will be governed by the market rates at the time of sale, and therefore, you could possibly lose money or increase your winnings based on the rates at the time of sale.
Any Scratch-Offs ticket - like our "Win for Life" Scratch-Offs ticket - that involves a life annuity (where the length of the annuity is based upon the duration of a person's life rather than a set term) is paid to one person only. If that one person wants to give a share to another person, they can file an IRS Form 5754 with the IRS, but the Lottery won't give out separate checks, and any accounting that arises would have to be done by the winner.
Yes, winners of the New Jersey Lottery may choose to remain anonymous. However, to file a claim, proper identification must be presented for internal processing and for reporting to the Internal Revenue Service. For more information, see: The State Lottery Law, N.J.S.A. 5:9-1 et seq.
In the past, players have asked questions about trusts and other legal constructs to use as vehicles to claim their prizes. If you have questions about those legal constructs, you must consult a legal professional. The Lottery cannot assist you with legal questions.
It takes approximately three (3) weeks to validate a claim and send a check to you for your winnings. If you wish to find out more about the status of your winning ticket claim, please contact Lottery's Customer Service Department at 1-800-222-0996.
Tax Requirements for Lottery Prizes
Federal Income Tax. Federal law requires the New Jersey Lottery to withhold 24 percent from any prize in excess of $5,000. A higher federal withholding rate of 30 percent applies to any prize of $600 or more paid to a winner who does not furnish a taxpayer identification (social security) number.
New Jersey Gross Income Tax. State law requires the New Jersey Lottery to withhold State tax at the rate of 5 percent from any prize in excess of $10,000 and up to $500,000 or 8 percent from any prize in excess of $500,000. The higher State withholding rate of 8 percent also applies to any prize in excess of $10,000 paid to a winner who does not furnish a taxpayer identification (social security) number.
Tax Returns. After the end of the year, each winner will receive a Form W2-G report showing the amount of Lottery prize payments to be reported as income and the amounts of federal and State taxes withheld to be reported as credits on the winner's federal and State tax returns.
Additional Information. For additional information about taxation of Lottery prizes, visit the US Internal Revenue Service website, the New Jersey Division of Taxation website, or consult a professional tax advisor.
2020 Tax Forms will be mailed no later than January 31, 2021. Winners of Lottery prizes receive form W-2G. If you have not received a W-2G by mid-February (2021), send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy. Provide your name, address, city, state, zip, ssn/ein, the form you are requesting, and a phone number at which you can be reached, if needed. Your form will be provided via secure return email.