5 things Canadians Need To Know About The Powerball Lottery

Powerball 1.3 Billion

Original News Reference can be viewed at the CBC.ca News Website.

The U.S. will take a sizable chunk of your winnings, if you’re able to collect them at all

So before you shell out your hard-earned money for a chance at walloping wealth, there are a few things you should know.

1. Purchasing your tickets online could possibly backfire. 

If you have purchased your ticket through an online website, you will be gambling in more ways than one.   I have personally registered at CongaLotto.com and also through TheLotter.com, and purchased my ticket through CongaLotto and it was a nightmare to get a response through them.   I made several researches online to see if they are a legitimate website and so far so good, not a lot of bad things are being said about them.  Unfortunately though with this Powerball ticket sales, it might be a special case but I have sent several customer service chat messages through their website and twice over email and I yet have to have a response from them.   They claim that they have an authorized agent in the country who would personally be purchasing the ticket on your behalf and once they head back to the office they would be scanning the winnings and placing it towards your account. Now as for Canadians, thousands have flocked to the sites like TheLotter.com which skirts the loaws by purchasing tickets on the customer’s behalf rather than selling them directly.  Both Powerball and the Ontario Government caution against such brokers.  These companies are unregulated and there is, therefore no guarantee you’ll be able to collect your prize.

Andrew Weaver told CBC News that TheLotter.com has an unblemished record stretching back to  14 years.  Oregon State Lottery spokesman Chuck Baumann confirmed the service once handed over $6.4 million US jackpot to an Iraqi man who used it.

2. U.S. Law could bar you from bringing your ticket back.

If you buy your ticket in the U.S. and bring it back to Canada, an obscure federal law could potentially stop you from returning Stateside to cash it in.

Still foreigners have successfully won and claimed U.S. prizes before, and Powerball insists Canadians are eligible.

“If you legally purchase a Powerball ticket, you can play the game and you can collect prizes. You do not have to be a citizen or a resident to play the game,” the official Powerball website says.

One suggestion that would be a way around the potential obstacle is to keep your ticket in a safety deposit box south of the border.

3. Canada won’t tax your winnings

Powerball winnings are subject to taxes in the U.S., but not in Canada.   The IRS will take at least 30 % of your winnings – the standard for all “non-resident aliens” – while state taxes vary.  But you’re not obligated to report what remains of your winnings when you file your taxes back in Canada.

US IRS Laws

The US. tax agency treats lottery winnings like income.  That means the bigger the price you claim at once, the more you’ll have to fork over to the government.  The Powerball site cautions that if you choose to take your winnings as a lump sum, rather than having it paid over the installments of 29 years, you risk loosing as much as half to taxes.

4. You absolutely cannot win on Facebook

Facebook users are reporting that they are receiving notices from friends indicating that the Powerball is giving away prices money through facebook, with links to information to “Claim their price,”  Powerball warns on it’s website.  So please be careful.

“These notices are false and fraudulent. The persons behind this fraud are attempting to gain personal information or payment of fees.”

Facebook Powerball Scam
If you see this message, do not click on it. IT IS A SCAM

5. You probably won’t win, anyway

So like any other lottery, your chances of winning the Powerball are one in more than 292 million.

Strategically you have a better chance of

  • Being killed by an asteroid.
  • Getting struck by lighting
  • Being murdered on a trip to the Grand Canyon
  • Becoming a movie star.
  • Dying from Chronic Constipation.

But still at only US$2 per ticket with a potential win of $1.5 billion payout, it’s not such a bad investment to try.

Being Stuck By An Asteroid
You’re more likely to be struck by an asteroid hurling towards the Earth from the depths of space than you are to win tonight’s Powerball jackpot. Good luck! (Don Davis/NASA)

 

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