|Posted: October 21, 2006, 10:24 am - IP Logged|
Here is what I believe, although I'm not guaranteeing my answers.
I believe it is only illegal to buy on line tickets.
I believe you could buy a ticket while visiting Europe and claim it and that this would not be any more illegal than winning in a casino at Monte Carlo.
In most states, the tax immunity for lottery prizes applies only to tickets purchased in that state.
It's good that you're not guaranteeing your answers, because I believe they are all wrong.
Your "on line tickets" statement is misleading and wrong, since most online places do not sell tickets. They have a special arrangement that makes it so you're buying a service, rather than buying a lottery ticket. Those looking for more detail on this should search the archives here at Lottery Post, where the topic has been discussed numerous times.
The issue is not whether you can buy a ticket in Europe (obviously you can), the real issues are (a) whether it is legal to transport the ticket into the United States, (b) if it is legal to claim the prize in Europe as a USA citizen, and (c) if it is legal to bring winnings from a European lottery prize back into the USA.
The answer to (a) is NO, but (b) and (c) are YES.
Last, there is no "tax immunity" whatsoever for any state, no matter where you buy your ticket. You will owe federal taxes on your prize from any lottery. State taxes may be another matter, depending on what state you live in, and if they consider lottery prizes to be taxable income. A tax attorney could only give you an answer in this circumstance after doing some substantial research, so any answer here on the forums on state taxes on a European lottery prize is an unreliable guess.
There may be ways to never bring the money into the United States, and hence stave off taxes, but I don't know the legality of doing that.