What to Do if You Win The Lottery in Canada
Every Canadian who plays the lottery dreams of winning the jackpot amount. For a lucky few, this dream can turn into a reality. Winning a big jackpot prize can be life-changing, so you should know what happens if you win the Canadian lottery.
The odds of winning the Lotto Max are 1 in 33.3 million. However, this lottery has a draw twice a week, meaning ticket winners often collect large prizes.
Are you a recent winner? You might be wondering what you should do now that you have a winning ticket. Here's everything lottery ticket winners need to know once they discover they have the winning numbers.
After Winning the Lottery: Step-by-Step Guide
Imagine you've just won the Lotto Max jackpot. You might be urged to shout your news from the rooftops or claim your prize immediately. After all, you can do so many things with this money. You may even want to quit your job on the spot!
Stop! Before you make any major decisions, you need to have a plan. The experts recommend doing this after discovering you've won the lottery.
Process what happened
Clear your head. Before you do anything, take some time to process what happened. A lotto win is a huge deal. Many people go through a roller coaster of emotions after a big win. You don't want to be that person that starts getting emotional at the bank with your cheque.
Secure your large prize
Sign your lottery ticket. Once you have signed the ticket, it is officially yours. Now, make sure it's put away in a secure place. Experts recommend putting it in a safe deposit box. You don't want anyone else getting their hands on your lottery ticket. Make sure you keep the winning ticket safe until you get paid.
Don't talk about winning
Keep this secret. You may want to tell everyone your big news but don't. This win should remain quiet until you're ready to deal with the life changes. If you let the word slip, people could try to get your winning ticket or ask you for favours.
Meet with professionals
Contact a financial advisor or accountant. It's very important to have a set plan in place for how you will manage your prize once it's in your bank account. Without a strategic plan, you could blow through the money a lot faster than expected.
Unfortunately, this has happened with many lottery prizes when the winners weren't prepared to handle their prizes responsibly. Make sure you have a short-term and long-term plan with your winnings.
A financial planner/accountant will also help advise you on how to handle solicitors and the amount of family and friends that will be seeking money.
Draw out a plan
Create a gifting strategy. You may be feeling generous with your new prize. This reward could change your life, so it's natural to want to help your family and friends as well. However, if you give it all away, there will be none left for you to clear your debts and enjoy.
Therefore, it's necessary to plan how much you will gift and to whom. From there, you should also have a plan in place for denying people's requests for money. Your financial advisor or accountant can help you make this plan during your first meeting.
Temporarily deactivate social media. Once you claim your prize, the news of your windfall will go public. This can lead to a lot of attention that you might not be ready for. If you want to remain online, we suggest creating a new account with a fake name and only letting your close friends and immediate family know about it.
Take a vacation
Time for a trip. Once the news about your lottery win is out, you won't get a lot of privacy. This is the perfect time for lottery winners to take a trip and enjoy their new fortune.
Otherwise, you'll be bombarded with calls from solicitors, bank managers trying to persuade you into different investments, and people you haven't spoken to since high school in desperate need of a million dollars. Even your financial adviser will recommend getting out of town for a bit.
Stay within reason
Avoid sudden lifestyle changes. When you get your cheque, you may want to celebrate with some big changes, like a new house or luxury car. You may even want to quit your job and spend your days travelling with your family. Don't do this; take some time to evaluate your options.
Need-to-Know Information about Claiming Your Prize
Congratulations on being a recent lottery winner. Now that you have a winning lottery ticket, you should know a few things before you claim it. Always read the terms and conditions before you claim your prize because the rules vary depending on the lottery game you play and where you live.
Winning tickets do have an expiry date. Most lottery winnings must be claimed within a year of the draw. Many tickets go unclaimed, and the prize money returns to the provincial lottery which you won it from. You will also need to present a photo ID in order to collect your prize.
All lottery winners have their information released. When you sign the paperwork to collect the Lotto Max or other lottery prizes, you give written consent for your information to be released.
All of the winners have their pictures taken with the cheque, and their full names, town, and province are released to the public. People will also know how much cash you won. So, there's no way to quietly win $50 million.
Are Lottery Winnings Tax-Free?
Lottery prizes in Canada aren't taxed. You will not have to save a portion of your money to give to the government. If you win a Lotto Max jackpot prize, it's all yours, regardless of how much you win. Like other forms of gambling, the lottery is considered recreational and recreational money doesn't get taxed.
People only have to pay taxes if they generate money from their lottery wins. For example, if you invest a portion of your winnings into a business, you will be taxed on any money earned from that.
FAQ: Winning the Lottery in Canada
What happens when you win the lottery in Canada?
It depends on which province you are situated in. In some provinces, winners' identities must be revealed, and they are also required to show up in person to claim their prize.
Do you pay taxes on lottery winnings?
In Canada, you don't have to pay taxes on your lottery winnings. However, if you generate income from your winnings, you will be taxed on profits. To learn more about this, you can look at our Taxation Guide.
Do you have to take a picture if you win the lottery in Canada?
Yes, you must have your picture taken in Canada if you win the lottery, which is typically used as promotional material. There might be special cases where you can stay anonymous if there is a safety concern based on individual circumstances.
Do you receive a cheque if you win the lottery?
Usually, the amount you have won will be transferred electronically to your account. In some cases, like when you must have your photo taken, you might have to hold a big check for the sake of the image.
I work with the CasinoGrizzly editorial team as a researcher and editor. My main area of interest is casino games and finding those with the best payout rates. I studied Maths at university, which is why I have a keen interest ... Read more about the author