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After a Big Win

If You Win Big

  1. Always sign the back of your ticket upon purchase and put it in a safe place. Your ticket is your only claim to the prize.
  2. Take your time to make important decisions to be sure you are making the best choices.
    • For more information, call the Rhode Island Lottery headquarters at 1-401-463-6500, and you will be directed to the appropriate contact. The Lottery staff is here to help you through this very exciting time.
  3. Get sound advice. Get professional tax and/or legal advice to help you decide the best way to claim your prize.
    • Decide how you will claim your prize. No matter which payment plan you choose, the Lottery will withhold 24 percent federal and 5.99 percent state taxes on your prize payment for all US residents. You may owe additional taxes depending on your other income, etc.
  4. Visit the Rhode Island Lottery Headquarters.
    • Since your prize is more than $600, you will need to provide a photo ID and something with your social security number. If you do not have anything with your social security number, you can fill out an IRS W-9 Form - Requests for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification. If you have any questions, ask Rhode Island Lottery personnel.
    • Someone in the Lottery Validations office will go over your payment options and payment schedule, and also discuss the taxes that have been withheld.
  5. Rhode Island state law requires the Rhode Island Lottery to release winners` full name and city or town of residency upon request. Not only is this information public by law, publishing it is necessary to ensure the integrity of the Lottery`s games.
    • For this reason, we recommend holding a press conference at Rhode Island Lottery Headquarters. This provides the media with a chance to ask you a few questions in a controlled environment without having each of them contact you at home or at work.
    • In addition, a member of the Lottery`s communications staff will ask you questions about your win, such as how many tickets you bought, when you found out that you won and what you plan to do with your prize money. This information will be used for a news release.
  6. Relax. The PowerBall® and Mega Millions® process takes approximately 14 working days from the date of validation to the date of check issuance.
  7. Some winners choose to change their phone number, so make sure to give any new contact information to the Lottery staff so they can contact you.
  8. We are here to work with you and make the winning experience as fun and easy as possible.