Can a foreigner play all six lucky numbers and then claim the pot if he wins it? If you pay the two dollars that the minimum bet costs, yes. There are no restrictions based on nationality, although there are some conditions to qualify for the prize.
The essential requirement to play Powerball or Mega Millions is to buy the combination at an authorized terminal, which are within the United States.
In other words, it cannot be played from the outside. That implies that any resident abroad must be physically present in one of the 44 states where this lottery is played. The same rule applies to residents of states like Nevada or Utah, who must take the car and cross into a neighboring state to buy tickets in person.
It is possible to use agents who are in charge of managing the purchase of tickets, paying the due commission. This is what Canadian citizens usually do through portals such as Thelotter.
Last December, a citizen residing in Iraq who never traveled to the United States made public that he earned 6.4 million with Megabucks. He bought the winning ticket in August through this online service, which in turn used an agent in Oregon. But these cases are very rare.
Also, this route has risks, because this type of service is not regulated. First, the system tends to jam frequently, and it depends on the trust you have in the agents that keep the tickets. Second, and above all, the ticket purchase must be “legal” so that the winner can collect the prize. In fact, practically all the portals that offer the Powerball are fraudulent these days, because, in general terms, it is illegal to acquire lottery online or by mail.
Gambling is illegal at the federal level in the US. The states have the power to decide how to regulate gambling at their borders, including lotteries. If the game or the information about it exceeds the states’ limits, it becomes a federal domain and is therefore considered invalid. “No one except the lottery and licensed stores can sell tickets—nobody.”.
There are states, such as Illinois, that do allow online lottery purchases. But in these cases, they are restricted exclusively to residents. At the same time, several US states are contemplating the option of limiting all lotteries to US citizens to prevent the undocumented from benefiting from the prizes, but no initiative came to fruition.
Since there are no limitations on nationality or residence, immigrants can buy and claim the prize in an irregular situation. But luck can be turned against him because the graceful man must show his face in public, and that makes him vulnerable to deportation. Being rich is also not a guarantee that you can achieve legal residency in the US, although it can pave the way.
Assuming that a tourist who is passing through the US is encouraged to buy tickets and hit the winning combination. To do this, you must prove in person to the State’s lottery managers where you acquired it, that you are of legal age, and your identity.
As a rule, prizes under $ 600 can be pocketed at any store with terminals that issue lottery tickets. But the shopkeeper may, for security reasons, not have the cash to pay for it at the moment. It can even be claimed by regular mail. It is mandatory to request the payment in the State where the ticket was purchased in any of the cases.
The winner has two ways to benefit from the prize. The most common option is to receive it in one go, which significantly reduces the amount after the payment of federal and State taxes, and in some cities like New York, also local.
The tax issue is different in each case. Non-residents are subject to a 30% tax, although it may vary depending on where the ticket was purchased. Some states require the winner to present a tax identification number, effectively requiring an address in the US, but the deadline for claiming the prize can help schedule the play. Then there is the tax regime that is applied in each country and the double taxation agreements.