What Happens When You Win the Lottery Online?

What Happens When You Win the Lottery Online?

Lotteries are no longer restricted to specific countries, but thanks to lottery sites, almost anyone from anywhere in the world can partake in any form of lottery. The American Powerball can be played in India and the Austrian Lotto enjoyed in Brazil, and so on. There are no boundaries. 

But what happens when you win the Lottery if you aren’t a resident in the country in which the lottery tickets are sold and the draws held? According to this lottery guide, it depends on how the lottery site is operating. You see, there are two ways of playing the lottery online – through lottery betting and through a ticket messenger service.

Claiming Your Prize at Lottery Betting Sites

As the name suggests, lottery betting sites don’t deal with any real tickets whatsoever. You get to pick your lucky numbers and you do have the opportunity to win the current jackpot and all other prizes that are officially offered by the specific lottery you choose to play. However, as opposed to a ticket being bought, you are placing a bet on the outcome of the lottery.

This means that when you win, it is the lottery site that you are signed up with that is responsible for paying you the winnings. Small ones tend to be instantly paid and are easily covered by the profit the lottery site is making on each ticket they’re selling (or rather each bet they are accepting). Your winnings are credited to your lottery account.

Big jackpot winnings, on the other hand, are covered by insurance that the lottery site has. They are paying a certain fee for insurance that will cover any winnings above a certain amount. So, if you win a prize like $50 million in the US Powerball, it would be paid out by the insurance company

The process for this would obviously take some time. Exactly how long is hard to tell since big winnings like these are rare. However, knowing how insurance companies work, it would be fair to expect at least a month. The prize would eventually be paid to your bank account after verification is made (such as proof of identity).

Claiming Your Prize at Ticket Messenger Sites

Ticket messenger sites act as worldwide hands that allow you to buy real tickets anywhere in the world. These sites have agents located in various countries. Whenever you play a lottery by choosing your lucky numbers online, the agent in that lottery’s country will physically buy a ticket using your numbers. At the best sites, such as TheLotter, your ticket will then be scanned and sent to you as proof of purchase. 

Similar to lottery betting sites, smaller winnings would be credited to your lottery account shortly after you win. You can expect it to take a little longer as it wouldn’t be the lotto site per se that is paying you, but the actual lottery organizer. The agent in the country of the lottery would visit the shop he physically bought the ticket in and get paid and then the money would be credited to your lottery account. 

Big jackpot winnings would have to be picked up by you in person just as if you bought the ticket yourself. A good lottery site would help you arrange travels to the country of the lottery and upon arrival, they would hand you the real ticket. From there, you would accept the prize and go through the usual media coverage. Unless you would like to stay anonymous, of course.

If for some reason, you wouldn’t be able to pick up the prize yourself, it is usually possible to hire a person to do it in your stead. However, this has to be treated on a case-by-case basis and should be discussed with the lottery site as well as the official organizer of the lottery.  

Photo by Ciudad Maderas on Unsplash

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