Massachusetts Lottery players able to claim prizes through its smartphone app (2024)

After winning $1,000 on a scratch ticket recently, a Blackstone woman did something that no other Massachusetts Lottery player had done before -- she scanned the winning ticket with her smartphone, submitted a claim through the Lottery’s app and got her winnings deposited directly into her account, all without having to leave her home.

“It was just so simple,” Elaine Tellstone said. “It took less than five minutes to scan my ticket and submit my claim. Depending on traffic and how many people were in line, it would’ve taken about two hours out of my day to claim my prize in person in Worcester.”

Last fall, the Massachusetts Lottery announced that it was developing a way for players to cash large prizes from their phones and have their winnings deposited directly into a bank account. Around the beginning of the year, the Lottery began to give players the ability to scan a ticket into the app to find out if it is a winner. Lottery officials recently reached out to Tellstone, who had used the ticket-checking feature, to try out the prize-claiming functionality as they prepare to make it more widely available.

“Making remote ticket cashing transactions available is a terrific advancement for the Lottery in accommodating our customers,” Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, who chairs the State Lottery Commission and has been pressing the Legislature for years to allow the Lottery to add an online component, said. “It has the added benefit of positive environmental impacts as it helps reduce carbon emissions by eliminating a lot of driving and production of paper checks.”

Mobile cashing will only be available for prizes between $601 and $5,000 -- the kind of prizes that currently can only be claimed at Lottery headquarters in Dorchester or one of the agency’s regional claims centers. Convenience stores that rely on foot traffic from Lottery players will continue to process claims for prizes of $600 or less and are not expected to lose Lottery traffic to mobile scanning or cashing.

When Tellstone went through the process of making the first remote prize claim, Lottery Executive Director Michael Sweeney said it felt to him “like watching Apollo land on the moon ... holding my breath and waiting for disaster while hoping for the best.”

“We were all appropriately confident, but until it actually happens the proof is in the pudding,” he said. “We had done an abundance of internal testing and that’s why we felt we were ready to move on to this next phase. Once the process began and everything worked out, I think a lot of people involved on this team were extremely happy.”

Since the Lottery made the ticket-scanning feature available on its app, more than 16,000 players have registered and scanned more than 2.8 million tickets, the Lottery said. The prize-claiming feature will slowly be expanded to a larger pool of players in the coming weeks and Lottery officials expect it will be broadly available early this summer.

Lottery players have been asking for the ability to scan their own tickets to find out what or if they’ve won for years, Sweeney said. Though the ability to check tickets remotely was “extremely well-received” by players, the ability to claim prizes remotely is expected to reveal the true impact of the Lottery’s new program.

“It’s a real gamechanger for the Lottery and our customers,” Sweeney said. He added, “We have to be where customers are, and where the consumer is across the economy is mobile and utilizing modern technology. Any business or any governmental agency that is not working to meet consumers where they are is going to lose consumer confidence and, obviously, we cannot afford that at the Lottery.”

Sweeney has also pitched the remote ticket scanning and prize claim features as environmentally-friendly policies. Using 2019 prize claim data as a benchmark and assuming a 50-percent adoption rate for the new mobile cashing app, the Lottery calculated that the new way of claiming prizes could eliminate more than 78,000 prize claim trips to Lottery locations for a total reduction of 2.78 million miles traveled.

That could save more than 110,000 gallons of gasoline and could avoid 983.1 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year, according to the Lottery.

“Once fully engaged and once widely adopted by consumers, this is really going to make one of the more measurable and tangible positive environmental impacts on the commonwealth by a governmental agency,” Sweeney said.

The Massachusetts Lottery had its third-best year in terms of revenue in fiscal year 2020 and generated a net profit of $986.9 million for the state to use as local aid. So far this fiscal year, the Lottery has generated an estimated profit of $836.3 million, $77.8 million more than what it had counted as profit at this point in fiscal 2020.

In March, the Lottery upgraded its fiscal year 2021 profit projection by $45 million and now expects it will provide the Legislature with $985 million to distribute to cities and towns as local aid.

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Massachusetts Lottery players able to claim prizes through its smartphone app (2024)

FAQs

How do you claim Lottery winnings if you play online? ›

Bring your winning ticket and a completed Claim Form to a District Office. Pick up the Claim Form at any Lottery retail location or District Office, or download the form (PDF). For 2nd Chance prizes, there's a different Claim Form, which you can download at 2nd Chance Claim form (PDF).

How long does it take to get Lottery winnings in Massachusetts? ›

Payments typically take a few days but could take up to 5 - 7 days to appear in your bank account. If you have not received your payment within this time f... How do I submit a mobile claim using the app?

What is mobile cashing for Mass Lottery? ›

Prizes between $601 - $5,000 may be claimed via mobile cashing on the Mass Lottery app. Prizes up to and including $50,000 may be claimed by mail. Prizes between $601-$103,000 may be claimed at a Lottery office location.

How much tax do you pay on a $5000 Lottery ticket in Massachusetts? ›

How much do I have to win before anything is withheld? For prizes of more than $600, 5% is withheld and sent to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue. For prizes $5,000 and greater, 24% of the prize is withhel...

Has anyone won the lottery by playing online? ›

But many people have won second-tier Powerball prizes, including multi-million dollar payouts, by playing the lottery online or using a lottery app. In fact, 19 lottery fans have ordered winning Powerball tickets worth $1 million or more using Jackpocket.

What happens if you win the lottery playing online? ›

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.

Do seniors pay taxes on lottery winnings in Massachusetts? ›

Lottery winnings are considered taxable income for both federal and state tax purposes and must be reported as such. Lottery winnings are taxed the same as a wage or salary, regardless of whether the winnings are taken as a lump sum or an annuity.

Do you have to publicly claim lottery winnings in Massachusetts? ›

Winners can establish a trust and have a trustee claim the prize in the name of the trust. Most often, an attorney is hired by the winner to create a trust, and that same attorney also serves as the trustee and claims the prize so the winner can remain anonymous.

What do you need to cash in a $1000 scratch ticket in MA? ›

How to Claim Your Prizes by Mail
  1. Completed and Signed Claim Form.
  2. Original Ticket (Instant or Draw Game). ...
  3. For all claims of more than $600 and up to and including $50,000, proof of positive identification (copy of government-issued photo ID and proof of Social Security Number) are required.
Jun 26, 2020

Why do lottery winners take cash? ›

Lump sum payments can also help winners avoid long-term income tax implications. However, those who elect to receive their winnings in annuity payments, or payments that are divided and issued over a fixed period of time, can end up with more in the long run.

Can you cash a lottery ticket online in Massachusetts? ›

With tons of new features, the Mass Lottery App has something for every player to enjoy. Plus, winning just got even better with mobile cashing! You can now claim prizes between $601 - $5,000 securely & conveniently from the app.

How long does it take mass lottery to deposit money? ›

Mass Lottery Helpdesk

Winnings from mobile claims will be deposited directly into your bank account. You will need to provide your routing and account number during the mobile claims submission process. Payments typically take a few days but could take up to 5 - 7 days.

Do lottery winnings affect social security? ›

Do lottery winnings count as earned income for Social Security purposes? Lottery winnings are not considered earned income, no matter how much work it was purchasing your tickets. Therefore, they do not affect your Social Security benefits.

How much goes to taxes if I win $1 million dollars? ›

What are the lump sum lottery winnings after taxes? The federal tax on the lottery is determined by the federal marginal rates, which is 37 percent in the highest bracket. In practice, there is a 24 percent federal withholding of the gross prize, plus the remaining tax, based on your filing status.

What state has the highest tax on lottery? ›

In contrast, taxes on lottery winnings vary widely between U.S. states. They typically range from 3% to 6%, but go up to 10.9% in New York — the most charged by any state participating in the lottery. However, eight states don't levy taxes on lottery winnings at all: California.

How do you play Mega Millions lottery online? ›

How Do You Play Mega Millions Online? Play Mega Millions by selecting five main numbers (from 1-70) and a Mega Ball (from 1-25) for each line and you can do this online in the same manner as if purchasing your tickets in person at a retailer.

How long does it take to get money out of the VA lottery? ›

Allow up to two (2) business days for your withdrawal request to process. Prizes over $100 may require additional documentation to prove your identity.

How much tax do you pay on a $1000 lottery ticket in CA? ›

Lottery winnings do not get taxed on the California state level but are subject to federal taxes. We can not stress enough how important it is to follow all the filing guidelines. Must be 18+ to participate.

How do I claim my Texas Lottery online? ›

You will need to Log in or Register for a Mobile Claim and provide your personal information including Mailing Address, Legal Name, Social Security Number, Citizenship/Residency (to determine tax withholdings.) You must be 18 years of age or older to register for a Mobile Claim.

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