Over the past week, three Michiganders won million-dollar jackpots playing Powerball. With the big jackpot still looming large (now at $640 million), it’s likely that many other people will buy tickets to chase one of the biggest Michigan Lottery prizes ever.
The next Powerball winning numbers will be announced Saturday.
Should you win a huge sum of money playing any lottery game, even Powerball, in the Great Lakes State, it’s important to know what to do. Keeping a clear head, taking your time, and enlisting the services of professionals are all crucial to enjoying your good fortune.
3 Powerball prizes won in Michigan
Nobody won the Powerball jackpot sitting at over half a billion dollars Wednesday night. However, three MI stores sold tickets that matched enough numbers to win a million. Those were:
- Food Max Supermarket in Inkster
- Kroger in Jackson
- Joe Hall Quick Stop in Ypsilanti
Now, Saturday’s estimated Powerball jackpot sits at $640 million. Friday’s Mega Millions grand prize is way up there as well. The second-largest jackpot in the game’s history is currently at $750 million.
The odds of winning either, much less both in the same weekend, are slim. Regardless, it’s human nature to dream. Suffice to say, either $640 million or $750 million would be an astronomical return on an investment of $2.
You’re more likely to win a smaller prize like those three Michiganders did on Wednesday. With that in mind, here’s how to claim lottery prizes and big Powerball jackpots in MI.
I won! How do I claim my lottery prize?
If you win a prize of $600 or less, you should be able to redeem your winning ticket at any MI lottery retailer. If you played the lottery online to win such a prize, the lottery will automatically add the value of your winnings to your account.
If your prize was at $601 but no more than $99,999, you have three options. The procedure will vary somewhat based on whether you played online or purchased a physical ticket. If you won online, the lottery urges you to file a claim online as well.
For wins of this size with physical tickets, your three options are:
- Claim your prize via mail
- Drop off all the necessary items at a claim center
- Make an appointment at a claim center
Claiming your prize in-person at a claim center
Claim centers are not currently accepting walk-in traffic due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you want to claim your winnings in-person, you must make an appointment. To schedule your appointment, call 1-844-917-6325.
Right now, the MI lottery requires all winners to properly wear face coverings during their appointments. Additionally, only the winner themselves or one representative may be on-site at a time. If you prefer to appoint someone to claim your prize for you, let the lottery know when you schedule your appointment.
You must bring the original ticket with you. You should make a photocopy for your own records, though. You also need to produce the following:
- Completed ticket receipt form
- Original, valid, government-issued photo identification
- Proof of your full Social Security Number or federal tax ID number
Dropping off all the essentials at a claim center
This is very similar to making an appointment at a claim center, but it can reduce your risk of exposure to the coronavirus because it limits your contact. All MI lottery claim centers accept drop-offs from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
With your original ticket, include a completed ticket receipt form. The claim centers have staff on-hand to verify your photo ID and SSN/Tax ID number. After that, they will process your claim and mail a check to the address listed on your ticket receipt.
Redeeming a prize through the mail
This is the only time photocopies of your ID and documents showing your SSN or tax ID number are acceptable. You will need to still include the original ticket, however.
Also, a completed ticket receipt form is necessary. Once you’ve got everything ready to go, only send it using registered mail. That way, you not only have delivery verification and tracking but also insurance.
The address to send your packet to is:
Attn: Claim Center
101 E. Hillsdale
PO Box 30023
Lansing, MI 48909
After the claim center processes your forms, they will mail a check to the address listed on the receipt form. One step that is necessary to claim a lottery prize in Michigan from a physical ticket in any way is to sign the back of that ticket.
Before you do so, however, you should call in some reinforcements. This is a time when being hasty can cost you.
I won the Powerball jackpot! How do I claim in Michigan?
Woohoo! Congrats on the big win! In order to claim your winning Powerball ticket (and a huge sum of money), you will need to visit Michigan Lottery headquarters in Lansing. This goes for any prize of greater than $100,000.
Each winner must present originals of the following:
- Government-issued photo ID (driver’s license or state ID)
- Social Security card
If you win the Powerball jackpot of $640 million, it is required that you visit lottery headquarters and reach out to Lottery Public Relations at 844-887-6836. You can then choose to receive your prize in a lump sum or over the course of a predetermined set of years (an annuity). The Michigan Lottery notes on its website the predetermined annuity years for each lottery game.
For Powerball winning tickets, it is a 30-year annuity.
Should I sign the back of my lottery ticket?
The answer to this question is, yes, eventually you will have to in order to claim the winnings. However, this is more about how you sign it than whether you sign it.
Because lotteries involve tax dollars, most states don’t allow you to claim prizes anonymously. Staying anonymous through the process of claiming big prizes has its advantages, though. So, how could one do that?
This is when the help of three professionals comes in. After you realize you’ve won a major award, take a deep breath, jump around the house in euphoria, don’t tell anyone, and hire the following ASAP:
- Financial adviser
These people will help you set up a corporation or a trust for your winnings. You can then claim the lottery prize in the name of that entity instead of using your personal name.
In MI, like in most places, once you’ve signed your name to the back of that ticket, you’ve forfeited your anonymity. The other advantage is that these three professionals will help you with another immediate and long-term concern: taxes.
What about taxes on my lottery and Powerball prizes?
Taxes are a bigger concern than just the initial amount taken off the top of your winnings. Depending on how you invest your prize, you may have to pay taxes on your gains going forward as well.
Your team of professionals can help you take full advantage of any tax savings moving forward that federal and MI law allows. It’s their job to make your winnings grow instead of depleting over time.
Like everything else pertaining to gambling, enjoying big lottery prizes is best done deliberately and methodically. A solid plan can turn a moment of excitement into years of financial security.