Lottery Taxes


Depending on the lottery game you play, you can choose to receive your prize in one lump sum or as an annuity. The decision whether to choose a lump sum or annuity payment will depend on your financial situation and the odds of winning the lottery.

In the United States, most lotteries take 24 percent of the prize amount for federal taxes. Depending on your jurisdiction, you may also have to pay state and local taxes on your winnings. If you win a million dollars or more, you would be subject to a 37 percent federal tax bracket.

Lotteries were originally used to finance various public projects. They were used to pay for town fortifications, libraries, colleges, roads, bridges, and canals. They also raised funds for the poor.

Several colonies used lotteries during the French and Indian Wars. Benjamin Franklin organized a lottery to raise money for cannons for the Philadelphia defense. In 1758, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts raised money with a lottery for an expedition against Canada.

Lotteries were also used to raise money for colleges in the 1740s. In 1755, the Academy Lottery financed the University of Pennsylvania.

Lotteries were common in the Netherlands in the 17th century. They were also used to raise money for the Virginia Company of London. In 1769, Col. Bernard Moore’s “Slave Lottery” advertised prizes such as land and slaves. This lottery was a huge fiasco.

Many people believed that lotteries were a hidden tax. Alexander Hamilton wrote that people would risk a trifling sum of money for the chance to win a substantial sum.