The amount of Powerball has reached a historic sum of $1.9 billion, motivating thousands of people around the country to decide to buy tickets with the dream of being the next big winner.
Many decide to share the wealth and join a pool.
According to the Lottery Department, most tickets must be claimed within 180 days of ticket purchase, except for Powerball and Mega Millions, where you have up to a year to claim it, starting the day the ticket was purchased.
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It is important to emphasize that there are rules regarding individual payments to people who entered a group to buy tickets. These rules apply for groups of 100 people or less.
According to the California Lottery Department, if you are a member of a lottery pool, you may claim your winnings on a Lottery Multiple Ownership Claim Form available at any California Lottery District Office.
You will find the list of those offices here.
Here's what to know.
What are the rules for prize winners between $600 to $999,999?
If you fall into this group of winners, the group must select a representative. This person must complete form CSL1242, in addition to IRS form 5754. It is this form where each person in the group must put their name exactly as it is on their identification form. Only one form needs to be filled.
It is recommended that each person in the group has a copy of the ticket.
What are the rules for winning pools of $1 million and above?
If you are part of this group, a representative must be chosen, that person must fill out claim form CSL 0896 and IRS form 5754. This person must sign the back of the ticket.
Each person in the group must complete form CSL 0897.
All group participants must agree to the same option plan.
Upon completing all the forms, and signing the ticket, you must take everything to the local district lottery office.
What do I need to do to claim the prize in person?
Follow the steps above to complete your claim form (whichever one applies).
Groups claiming prizes may send a single representative, but the representative must bring completed forms for all members of the group.
Please keep a copy or photograph of the claim form and the front and back of your winning ticket for your records.
Bring current identification (state ID card, driver's license, passport, etc.)
Prepare for your visit to Lottery District Offices by following all local health and safety requirements.
Can non-citizens play the lottery?
Non-citizens can also play.
All citizens, residents and non-citizens can participate in lottery games, the difference is the federal tax withholding.
Lottery prizes are not subject to California state income tax. The Lottery is required by federal tax law to withhold federal taxes of 24% for US citizens and resident aliens.
Non-US citizens will have 30% of all prizes withheld.
For more information on lottery rules, call 1-800-LOTTERY (568-8379) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. or go to the CA Lottery website.