For more information on this topic, see our Claiming Prizes page.
The claim period varies by game. Scratch tickets are valid for 90 days after the announced end of the game. Pull-tab ticket prizes must be claimed at the place where the ticket was sold, also within 90 days of the announced end of the game. Iowa's Powerball, Mega Millions and Hot Lotto tickets are valid for 365 days from the date of the drawing. Iowa's $100,000 Cash Game, Pick 3 and Pick 4 (both midday and evening) tickets are valid for 90 days from the date of the drawing.
Subject to cash availability, retailers are asked to cash prizes up to $600. For prizes more than $600 -- with the exception of jackpots -- players may mail their signed winning ticket with a winner claim form to the lottery at:
PO Box 10474
Des Moines IA 50306-9996
Players may cash winning tickets at lottery headquarters in Des Moines or any of the lottery's regional offices located in Cedar Rapids, Mason City, Storm Lake and Council Bluffs. The regional offices can pay prizes up to and including $250,000. All prizes for amounts greater than that, and all jackpot prizes, must be claimed at lottery headquarters in Des Moines.
Prizes can be paid to players who play as a group. A check can be written to an entity such as a trust or to a single individual. If an individual claims the prize on behalf of a group, they must indicate this on the winner claim form. In addition, they must submit an IRS Form 5754, listing all the winners of the prize with their address and tax identification information, within 2 weeks of claiming the prize. This ensures that the prize and tax withheld is correctly allocated to each group member. The lottery suggests that the back of the ticket should not be signed until the group has determined how the ticket will be submitted on the winner claim form.
The Iowa Lottery does not withhold tax for prizes of $600 or less. By law, prizes of more than $600 will face a 5 percent state withholding tax. If a player wins more than $5,000, an additional 25 percent federal withholding tax will be withheld when the prize is claimed.
All winners of prizes of $600 or more will receive an IRS Form W2-G from the Iowa Lottery. This form will show the prize won and all tax withheld. This information should be filed with the winner's income tax form. The tax withheld will be a credit toward taxes owed; winners may get some of it back, or may have to pay more, depending on their income.
For prizes won in 2010, Form W2-G will be mailed out no later than Jan. 31, 2011. If a player won a prize greater than $600 in 2010 and moved since they claimed the prize, they should contact the Iowa Lottery at 515.725.7900 with their updated address information.
Yes. The lottery is required by law to withhold income offsets, or amounts that may be owed to various government agencies, from prize payments. Winners receive any balance remaining after application of the offset.