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Some Reminders About Group Lottery Play

A lot of people have fun playing lottery games together, and we've seen groups big and small win prizes here in Iowa through the years. It's a fun thing to do, and hey, you don't want to be the only person still at work when everyone else has won, right?

The Iowa Lottery offers these reminders to keep your pool play fun and hassle free:

  • Know the rules for your group and put them in writing. Group play details should be discussed, written and distributed to all members as the group's official rules. Some issues you may want to cover include: If a regular playing member is not present on lottery collection day will they be included or excluded? What if a regular player has someone else put in money towards their game share, do both players receive an equal share? Can players come in and out of the group? How will your group claim any prizes you win? Can someone from your group enter eligible tickets into a VIP Club promotion? When the rules are in writing, there is no question about how to split the prizes.
  • Keep a list of everyone who puts in money for a particular drawing and how much they contribute. Allow contributions only from those who are at least 21 years old, the legal minimum age to purchase lottery tickets in Iowa.
  • Provide everyone in your pool with photos or copies of the group's tickets before the drawing. This should include the identifying numbers on the back of the tickets. (Remember that photocopies can't be used to claim a prize - only the actual ticket can be used.) You may also want to tell people the name and address of the retail location where the tickets were purchased and the approximate time of the purchase.
  • If the person buying the tickets for your pool also wants to buy tickets on their own, the two purchases should be kept separate. You may even want to consider buying the two sets of tickets at different stores so it is clear which tickets are for the group and which are for that individual.
  • Put together a list of the names and telephone numbers of everyone in your pool. In particular, you should have that information for the people who are in charge of buying the tickets and the person who will hold the tickets.
  • If you win a prize as part of a group, there is a form you'll need to fill out to indicate that the prize is being claimed by more than one person. It's called IRS Form 5754 and we have copies of it on hand at our offices or you can find it on the IRS website along with instructions for filling it out. The form must be given to the lottery at the time the prize is being claimed. The prize (including any winnings in an Iowa Lottery VIP Club drawing) will be paid to one person, and your group will need to decide how the prize will be divided.