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buying a Euro Millions ticket while in Europe

Topic closed. 5 replies. Last post 10 years ago by konane.

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United States
Member #47137
October 20, 2006
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Posted: October 20, 2006, 11:28 pm - IP Logged

Hello, everyone!  Big Smile  LONGTIME lurker here.  I finally have some questions. 

A.  Does the illegality of playing foreign lotteries pertain only to online-bought tickets? 

B.  If yes, and an American were to vacation in Europe and buy what would turn out to be a winning lottery ticket while there, would that American then be able to legally (according to the IRS) claim the prize?

C.  If yes, and that American is a resident of California, where there is no state tax on lottery prizes, would the foreign lottery prize apply to the no-state-tax rule?  Or, would the foreign lottery prize be subject to federal and state tax as if it were regular income?

Does anyone know the answers?  Any replies appreciated.

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    New Jersey
    United States
    Member #21206
    September 4, 2005
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    Posted: October 21, 2006, 9:30 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.

      dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

      United States
      Member #2338
      September 17, 2003
      2063 Posts
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      Posted: October 21, 2006, 9:42 am - IP Logged

      It is illegal to buy tickets in the US online and in WA state it's a felony. If you buy tickets online in a different country then it would depend on the rules of that country even if you are a US citizen.

      Winning any foreign lottery you bought tickets for would be subject to US income tax. As far as state income tax you would have to hire a tax attorney to figure that out but if you won a lottery you could afford it. 

        Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
        Chief Bottle Washer
        New Jersey
        United States
        Member #1
        May 31, 2000
        23352 Posts
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        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.

         

        Check the State Lottery Report Card
        What grade did your lottery earn?

         

        Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
        Help eliminate computerized drawings!

          Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
          Chief Bottle Washer
          New Jersey
          United States
          Member #1
          May 31, 2000
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          Posted: October 21, 2006, 10:26 am - IP Logged

          henny penny,

          By the way, glad you decided to come out of the shadows and join us on the forums!

           

          Check the State Lottery Report Card
          What grade did your lottery earn?

           

          Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
          Help eliminate computerized drawings!

            konane's avatar - wallace
            Atlanta, GA
            United States
            Member #1265
            March 13, 2003
            3351 Posts
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            Posted: October 21, 2006, 10:58 am - IP Logged

            All the more reason to push for Fair Tax where income is not subject to any federal taxes.  Big Grin

             

            A big welcome henny penny!!  

            Good luck to everyone!