Frequently Asked Questions - Winning Tickets

 

How come nobody who lives near me ever wins?

We get winners all the time, from all over the state, including a record-setting $190 million Mega Millions winner in Cape May County, and another winner of $82.5 million in Mega Millions, also won by a Cape May County couple.

However, please keep in mind that odds don't care about geography. In some areas of New Jersey, though, there are more people and more businesses, which means more possible sites for Lottery retailers and a larger pool of potential Lottery players (for instance, counties like Hudson, Essex, Bergen, and Union are more populated than counties like Hunterdon, Warren, or Sussex). The number of people playing does not change the odds, but the more people that are playing in a given area, the more opportunities for one of them to have a winning ticket.

 

How do I find out if my numbers ever won?

On the main pages for each of our live-drawing games, you will find a link called "Winning Numbers Search." That is the link you are looking for.

 

I have a winning ticket, but I'm not a legal resident in this country. Can I still get the money?

You can file a claim form to collect your winnings. If you do not have a Social Security Number, you must provide the following information to claim your prize. When filling in the claim form, you must list your passport number and the name of the country from where you come. (This information can be put in boxes 11 and 12 on the Lottery Claim Form.) We would issue a check, less 30 percent federal withholding, which we are required by law to deduct if the person is an alien.

If the person claiming the prize is not the resident on record at the address where they are residing, and the check is being sent to that address, they have to put "c/o (name of person with whom they are residing)" on the line beneath their name on the claim form. This will assure delivery of the check.

 

Can I submit my ticket in person?

You are welcome to come to the Lottery's Headquarters and submit your claim in person. However, visiting the Lottery does not result in immediate payment of your prize. Because the New Jersey Lottery does not have the legal authority to cut checks on behalf of the State of New Jersey, all claims require up to two to three weeks for processing and payment.

 

Can a Lottery retailer refuse to cash in lottery tickets?

There is a policy regarding the cashing of winning tickets. 

The State Lottery Law
N.J.S.A. 5:9-1 et seq.
5:9-7 Commission; powers and duties

Section a (5 )— "The manner of payment of prizes to the holders of winning tickets or shares, including, subject to the approval of the State Treasurer, provision for payment of prizes not to exceed $599.00 by agents licensed hereunder out of moneys received from sales of tickets and shares."

While we ask that our agents always cash in any and all winning tickets they may receive that are under $599.00, we also understand that, for valid business reasons, this may not always be able to occur.

Since we request that Lottery funds be kept separate from the "regular store" funds, the funds may not always be available to cash a large (and sometimes even a small) winning ticket. The reasons for this can range from the time that the winner is trying to cash their ticket (the agent hasn't done enough business at that point to cover the amount of the win) to the Lottery funds depleted from paying out on a number of winning claims already.

Please keep in mind, we offer these as explanations, not excuses. While it is up to each of our agents to operate their individual businesses in their own particular way, it is still in their best interest to cash in winning tickets, since they receive a commission on the tickets they do cash.

 

Do I need to come to the lottery headquarters to file my claim?

Prizes of up to $599.50 should be redeemed directly from the retailer. Prizes of $600 and over require the completion of a New Jersey Lottery Claim Form, which can be mailed or delivered to Lottery Headquarters. Winners of top prizes often prefer to hand deliver their winning tickets, but it is not required. Hand delivering your claim form will not result in immediate payment. All claims require up to least two to three weeks for processing. 

Prizes over $5,000.00 are subject to applicable federal withholding taxes, which will be deducted from your prize award payment. Please sign the back of your original ticket(s).

 

If I'm an out of state winner, can I send in my winning ticket through the mail without a claim form?

For out of state winners:

Please sign the back of your original ticket(s).

Then, download, fill out and print a Claim Form (pdf) and instructions

The NJ Lottery also suggests that you make a copy of your Claim Form and the tickets (front & back) in the rare event of a delay or loss in the mail.

Staple your tickets to the Claim Form. Enclose the Claim Form and tickets in an envelope and mail to:

NEW JERSEY LOTTERY COMMISSION
P.O. BOX 041
TRENTON , NJ 08625-0041

For more information, please contact Lottery Customer Service at 1-800-222-0996.

All winners, tickets, transactions, drawings, prizes and prize payments are subject to New Jersey Lottery Rules and Regulations and State Law.

 

I have a ticket that I think is a winner, but it won't validate. What do I do?

If you question the result on an instant or live-drawing ticket, sign the back of your original ticket(s), obtain a claim form from any NJ Lottery Retailer and fill it out at the retailer. Then mail the original claim form along with your questionable ticket and the validation receipt in the self-addressed, postage paid envelope provided, to the following address:

New Jersey Lottery
Attn: Validations
P.O. Box 041
Trenton , NJ 08625-0041

You retain a copy of the Claim Form as proof of submission of a ticket. Also, you may want to make a copy of your ticket and Claim Form for your records.