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Winner’s Guide

So you’ve won the Lottery, and you’re probably thinking, “Now what?”

Congratulations! Winning the Lottery can be the beginning of a new, exciting chapter in your life. Whether you’ve already won or you’re still waiting for your chance, it’s important to have a plan in place to make the most of your winnings. We can help with that. Here, you’ll find information about how to claim your prize, as well as resources and tools to better protect your money.

We see a middle-class suburban home.

A big, beautiful private jet slowly creeps into frame and turns, making its way to the small home garage. Our pilot pops his head out the window to check his turn angle.

The plane tries to go in straight, and it obviously doesn’t fit. It backs up and tries readjusting several times. The pilot is persistent on making this impossible task work.

Narrator: When you win big, make sure you have a plan in place. Be smart when it comes to managing your winnings.

How to Win Responsibly

How to Claim Your Prize

In person

  • Prizes of $599 or less
  • Prizes of $600 - $1,000,000*

    May be claimed in-person via walk-in or by appointment at any Florida Lottery District Office for games that do not offer an annual payment option.

  • Prizes greater than $1,000,000 & all prizes with an annual payment option

    Must be claimed at Florida Lottery Headquarters, with the exception of Mega Millions® and Powerball® prizes of $600 - $1,000,000.**

*Florida Lottery Headquarters does not process claims for in-person delivery.
**Mega Millions and Powerball prizes of $600 - $1M can be claimed at any Florida Lottery District Office.

By mail

If you’re not in the mood for a road trip, you can also claim your winnings by mail if the prize is $250,000 or less. Just mail your ticket to the Florida Lottery with the required documentation.

The envelope in which a ticket is mailed must be postmarked: 

  • On or before the 60th day after the official end of a Scratch-Off.
  • On or before the 180th day after the winning drawing for a Draw Game ticket. 

U.S. Postal Service regulations include various restrictions on mailing Lottery tickets. The risk of mailing tickets remains with the player and will not be assumed by the Florida Lottery.

Florida Lottery
Claims Processing
250 Marriott Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32399-9939

We accept winning tickets and fan-mail at the following address:

Prize Payment Options

Picking a payment plan

Once a payout option has been selected, it’s FINAL. You can choose from two different payment plan options, each with its own unique benefits. Allow us to explain because once a payout option has been selected, it’s final. Consulting a team of advisors may help you make this decision confidently.

  1. Annual payments

    Winners may choose to receive their winnings in annual payments. The number of annual payments varies by game.

    Jackpot prizes from Florida Lotto®, Mega Millions®, and Powerball® are paid in 30 annual installments. Grand Prizes and Second Prizes from Cash4Life® are paid for the natural life of the winner. Certain Scratch-Off games may also be paid in annual installments in accordance with the rules for that game.

  2. Cash option

    The cash option is a one-time, lump sum payment that winners may choose to receive instead of receiving their winnings in annual payments. The cash option amount varies by game and value of the prize.

    If the winner does not elect the cash option within the 60-day cash option election period, the prize will be paid in annual payments.

Claim periods & timing 

You have options. Be aware that the time period for claiming prizes differs based on the type of game you play and the payout option you select. Any games that offer a choice of payment (Annual Payment or Cash Option) have a 60-day cash option election period. 

  • For Scratch-Off games

    The time period to claim your prize is within 60 days after the end of the game.


  • For Draw Games

    Your prize must be claimed within 180 days after the draw date.

Documents Needed to Claim Your Prize

To claim a prize of $600 or more, you will need the following documentation & identification:

  1. Florida Lottery Winner Claim Form

  2. Some form of identification that is current or was issued within the past five years and bears a serial number or other identifying number. Acceptable forms include:

    • An identification card or driver's license issued by a public agency authorized to issue driver's licenses in Florida, a state other than Florida, a territory of the U.S., or Canada, or Mexico.
    • A passport issued by the U.S. Department of State.
    • A passport issued by a foreign government for non-annual payment option prizes & prizes that do not require a notarized affidavit.
    • A passport issued by a foreign government stamped by the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services for annual payment option prizes or for prizes that require a notarized affidavit.
    • An identification card issued by any branch of the U.S. armed forces.
    • An identification card issued by the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.
    • Another form of identification authorized for use by notaries public in Section 117.05(5)(b)2., Florida statutes.

A bank authorization form is generated each quarter for players who have already claimed their prizes and have chosen the annual payments.

Under the Federal Privacy Act, disclosure of a person's Social Security number is voluntary unless a Federal statute specifically requires such disclosure or allows states to collect the number. For claimants of Florida Lottery prizes valued at $600 or more, disclosure is required by 26 U.S.C. s. 3402 and 26 U.S.C. s. 6109 for tax withholding and reporting purposes. Social Security numbers will also be used to determine whether a claimant owes an outstanding debt to a state agency or child support collected through a court, pursuant to Section 24.115, Florida Statutes.

Tax Information

Account for taxes

Just as a reminder, appropriate federal income taxes will be withheld regardless of which payment method you choose. 

  • If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien with a social security number, the IRS requires the Florida Lottery to withhold 24% federal withholding tax on prizes over $5,000.
  • If you are a U.S. citizen and do not have a Social Security number, the IRS requires the Florida Lottery to withhold 30% federal withholding tax on prizes of $600 or more.
  • The IRS requires the Florida Lottery to report all winnings of $600 and above for U.S. citizens and resident aliens. 
  • For non-resident aliens, the IRS requires the Florida Lottery to withhold 30% federal withholding tax on all prize amounts. 

Stay up-to-date on tax information

Winning responsibly is all about being informed. Federal tax rates are subject to change and there may be an additional tax liability depending on a winner’s total financial situation. We ask that you consult a professional tax advisor to help you determine your total tax liability, or contact the IRS for additional information regarding taxes.  

State-owed debt

To ensure you don’t have any IOU’s before you claim your prize money, state-owed debt is systematically checked with the following agencies when a winner submits a valid claim for a Lottery Prize of $600 or more.

The Florida Lottery makes sure you’re clear with the following agencies:

  • Department of Revenue (e.g Child Support)
  • Department of Children and Families (e.g Food Stamps, Medicaid, and Public Assistance)
  • Department of Commerce (e.g Overpayment of Reemployment Assistance)
  • Department of Education (e.g Student Loans)
  • University of Florida (e.g Student related debts)

Florida Statutes 24.115(4) stipulates for multiple agencies owed, Department of Revenue is to be paid first. If a balance remains after the Department of Revenue payment, other agencies with State Owed Debts are paid pro-rata, based upon the ratio of the individual debt to the remaining debt owed to the state.

Financial Planning Assistance

We understand that some prefer researching and managing their finances on their own, and others prefer to build a team of advisors to provide them with sound financial advice. Whichever route you take, know that you are in control of your money. Hiring a financial planner doesn’t mean you’re uninvolved in managing your money.

Here is a list of organizations that can assist you in building an advisory team:

Protecting Winnings

You won a big prize and you completed all the necessary paperwork, so it should be smooth sailing from here, right? Well, unfortunately, this may be the time someone attempts to take advantage of you and your situation. 

Don’t get scammed.

Scammers and predators are out there. If you feel like you have been compromised or taken advantage of, there are people and organizations to help. Here are some places to start:

Tips to keep your money safe

Public Disclosure

We are proud of our winners and we want to show you off! We will highlight your success story and winning experience in a press release. We’ll also give you a photo op with a giant check with your winning amount on the front.

We know that some people don’t want to brag about their winnings, and we get that. But Florida law mandates that the Florida Lottery allow access to certain governmental records for public disclosure purposes.

If you are a winner the following are all matters of public record and subject to disclosure:

  • Full name
  • City of residence
  • Game won
  • Date won
  • Amount won
  • Name and location of the retailer where the winning ticket was purchased

*Beginning May 25, 2022, the names of Lottery winners claiming prizes of $250,000 or greater will be temporarily exempt from public discloser (pursuant to F.S. 24.1051(3)(a)) for 90 days from the date the prize is claimed unless otherwise waived by the winner. After 90 days, the winner’s name is no longer confidential and exempt.

Responsible Winners Showcase

every winner has an experience all their own

Winning the Lottery is filled with endless possibilities. Explore our Winner Showcase to discover how winning could change your life forever.