Close
We are loading retailer information now. If you see this message for more than a few moments, please make sure that you have enabled location sharing on your device.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

Have questions about the Oregon Lottery? This is the place where you can find the answers to many of the most commonly-asked questions, including contact information, how to claim winning prizes, and what to do if you or someone you know may have a problem with gambling. 

30 Years of Doing Good Things

Good things by county

See how the Oregon Lottery helped your county during 2011 through 2013.

Prizes

When I have a winning ticket, how do I claim a Lottery prize?
When I have a winning ticket, how do I claim a Lottery prize?

All prizes may be claimed at the Lottery's Headquarters in Salem. Prizes less than $50,000 may also be claimed at the Wilsonville payment center. Prizes may be claimed in person or by mail (registered mail recommended), beginning the day following the drawing. If you choose to redeem your prize by mail, be sure your winner's claim form is completely filled out. Prizes of $600 or less may be claimed at a Lottery retailer.
How long do I have to claim my prize?
Prizes for Oregon’s Game Megabucks, Powerball, Mega Millions, Keno, Win for Life, Lucky Lines, and Pick 4 must be claimed within one year from the date of the drawing in which the prize was won. Raffle prizes must be claimed within one year of the winning number announcement. Prizes for Scratch-it games must be claimed within one year after the official end of the game. All unclaimed prizes go to public education, economic development and natural resource programs.
 
How are Lottery winnings taxed?

All Lottery prizes, regardless of the amount, generally are considered as income by the state and federal government.

For traditional products (Scratch-its and draw games), the state requires the Oregon Lottery to report all prizes of $600 or more to the Internal Revenue Service and the Oregon Department of Revenue. For prizes over $5,000, the Lottery is required to withhold 25 percentfor federal taxes, and 8 percent for state income taxes.

For Video Lottery jackpot prizes, the state requires the Oregon Lottery to report all jackpot prizes of $1200 or more to the Internal Revenue Service and jackpot prizes over $600 to the Oregon Department of Revenue. For prizes over $5,000, the Lottery is required to withhold 25 percent for federal taxes and 8 percent   for state income taxes.

If you win a promotional prize, like a trip to Hawaii, the Lottery reports the value of the prize (or prizes) to the Internal Revenue Service during a calendar year if the total value of the promotional prizes is $600 or more.

The tax liability of winners depends on their overall financial situation. When taxes are filed at the end of the year, a winner could owe more or less than the actual amount withheld. Winners may wish to consult a tax advisor for more information.

What happens to the remaining payments if a jackpot winner dies before all their annuity payments have been received?
What happens to the remaining payments if a jackpot winner dies before all their annuity payments have been received?

If a jackpot winner chooses an annuity payment plan for a jackpot prize, and passes away before all of the payments have been received, the remaining payments will go to the designated heir(s) or the estate. At the time the winning ticket is redeemed, the prize recipient has the opportunity to complete a form and designate an heir.
 
If I win a big prize, can I remain anonymous?

No. Certain information about Lottery prizes is public record, including the name of the winner, amount of the prize, date of the drawing, name of the game played and city in which the winning ticket was purchased. Oregon citizens have a right to know that Lottery prizes are indeed being awarded to real persons.  


 
Can I share the jackpot with another family member or friend?
Can I share the jackpot with another family member or friend?

Certainly. Winners of large Lottery prizes often want to share their good fortune with friends and family, and we do our best to accommodate those wishes. A winning ticket must be signed and claimed by only one person. However, once the winner has completed the official Lottery claim form, he or she may divide the prize by completing a request and release form available at the Lottery. This form must be signed by all parties who will receive part of the prize. The Lottery will then issue prize checks to all persons whose name appears on the official release form.
Why can't I choose either a cash or annuity option when I buy my Oregon's Game Megabucks or Powerball ticket?

Why can't I choose either a cash or annuity option when I buy my Oregon's Game Megabucks or Powerball ticket?

You are able to make the choice between cash or annuity when you come to the Lottery to claim an Oregon’s Game Megabucks or Powerball jackpot prize. By not making this choice at the time you buy your ticket, you have time to determine how you may want your prize - either in one lump sum or in 30 annual installments for Oregon’s Game Megabucks, Mega Millions or Powerball.

How much is the Lottery required to return in the form of prizes?
How much is the Lottery required to return in the form of prizes?

The law requires that at least 50 percent of the Lottery's total annual sales is paid to players as prizes. The Lottery currently pays out traditional game (Oregon’s Game Megabucks, Powerball, Mega Millions, Scratch-its, Keno, Win for Life, Lucky Lines, and Pick 4,) prizes at a combined rate of 64 percent, which means that overall 64 cents of every dollar played goes back to players in prizes. Video Lottery game prizes pay out at a combined rate of 93 percent.

Games

The Scratch-it game I played had odds of 1 in 4. Doesn't that mean I should get a winning ticket every fourth ticket purchased?

The Scratch-it game I played had odds of 1 in 4. Doesn't that mean I should get a winning ticket every fourth ticket purchased?

No, not at all. The odds stated on the back of all Scratch-it tickets are the overall odds of winning a prize in that game. For example, if the overall odds of winning a prize in a game are 1 in 4, it means that if 4 million tickets are printed for that particular game, 1 million will be winners, which are randomly placed throughout the entire run of Scratch-it tickets.

As with all of our games, receiving one of those winning tickets is simply a matter of chance. Because of this random placement, it is possible to get a string of nonwinners in a row, just as it’s possible to buy a similar number of tickets and get several winners in a row. Although we can't guarantee that everyone will be a winner, we can guarantee that each player has a fair and equal chance of winning a prize.

Why doesn’t the Lottery offer subscription play for Oregon’s Game Megabucks and Powerball?
Why doesn’t the Lottery offer subscription play for Oregon’s Game Megabucks and Powerball?

While the Lottery does not offer a “subscription” system to our players, we have extended the number of advance play drawings players can buy for our draw games, Powerball, Mega Millions, and Oregon’s Game Megabucks. Players are now able to buy 26 consecutive drawings in advance for only $25 for Oregon’s Game Megabucks, while Powerball and Mega Millions players can play for up to 20 consecutive drawings.
Which produces more winners, using the “Quick Pick” method or selecting my own numbers?

Which produces more winners, using the “Quick Pick” method or selecting my own numbers?

Each set of numbers, whether from a Quick Pick (numbers selected by the Lottery’s computer system) or selected by the player, have the same odds of being drawn. About 70 percentof Oregon’s Game Megabucks and Powerball tickets sold are Quick Pick tickets. Not surprisingly, about 70 percent of the prizes won in those games are from Quick Pick tickets. 

Why did the Oregon Legislature authorize the Oregon Lottery to offer Video Lottery games?
Why did the Oregon Legislature authorize the Oregon Lottery to offer Video Lottery games?

In 1991, it was estimated that up to 10,000 video slot and video poker machines (known as “grey machines”) were being used for illegal gambling in Oregon. That year, the Oregon Legislative Assembly outlawed the "grey machines" but, recognizing their well-established presence in the marketplace, placed the operation of similar devices under the authority of the Oregon State Lottery Commission. Video Lottery gaming is now regulated by the state, and accounts for approximately 80 percent of all Oregon Lottery earnings for public education, economic development and natural resource programs.
Why can't I buy Oregon Lottery tickets over the Internet?

Why can't I buy Oregon Lottery tickets over the Internet?

Internet wagering is a complex issue involving both state and federal law, as well as a number of regulatory, technological and security challenges. The issue of gambling over the Internet is the subject of current congressional review.

At this time, the Oregon Lottery does not have any plans to sell tickets over the Internet. However, the Lottery is aware of the enormous potential of the Internet and is monitoring state lotteries in the US who do offer online ticket sales. We will continue to provide the latest information about our games, background on the Lottery and other helpful information on this website.

What is the demographic profile of Oregon Lottery players?

What is the demographic profile of Oregon Lottery players?

View the Oregon Lottery player profile

Research consistently shows that the “typical Oregon Lottery player” is the “typical Oregonian,” in terms of age, income and education. Lottery players comprise 63 percent of the total adult population of Oregon; are equally likely to be male or female; have an average age of about 47 years old; have some college education; and have a household income of $50,000 per year.


 

Lottery Dollars

Does the Oregon Lottery receive any funding from tax dollars?
Does the Oregon Lottery receive any funding from tax dollars?

No. The Oregon Lottery is entirely self-financed through its ticket sales and receives no General Fund or tax dollars to operate.
 
What percent of its sales does the Lottery spend on administrative costs?

What percent of its sales does the Lottery spend on administrative costs?

By law, no more than 16 percent of its total annual sales may be used for administrative costs (game vendor expenses, commissions to retailers who sell Lottery products and Lottery operating expenses). Today, the Lottery operates at less than 4 percent of its total annual sales, and uses the remaining dollars to increase prize pay-outs for players and as additional transfers to the state for programs including public education, economic development and natural resources.

Who decides which programs and projects receive Lottery profits?

Who decides which programs and projects receive Lottery profits?

Oregonians vote to approve the broad categories that may receive Oregon Lottery funds, and have approved Constitutional amendments allowing Lottery funds to be used for economic development (1984), public education (1995) and natural resource programs (1998). The Legislature directs 1 percent of proceeds to fund problem gambling treatment programs.

How do I apply for Oregon Lottery funds to support my business?

How do I apply for Oregon Lottery funds to support my business?

If you would like more information about the process to apply for Lottery-funded business loans, business support services and grants for community development projects log onto the Business Oregon website or call 503-986-0123.

All business owners are encouraged to visit their local Small Business Development Centers for assistance in starting and growing a business. These centers are supported by Lottery funds to provide assistance to business owners in, or near their communities statewide. Visit http://www.bizcenter.org/ to learn more about starting a business in Oregon.

Locations and Hours

How do I get to the Oregon Lottery office in Salem or Wilsonville?
The Lottery's main office is located at:
500 Airport Road SE
Salem, OR 97301

The Wilsonville Payment Center is located at:
9760 SW Wilsonville Road
Wilsonville, OR 97070

For additional contact information please click here.
What are the Lottery office business hours?

The Main Oregon Lottery office in Salem is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday (excluding state holidays). If you are claiming a prize, we suggest you arrive by 4:45 p.m. Claims over $5,000 may take up to one hour to process, so we suggest you arrive by 4 p.m. A jackpot prize may take up to two hours to process, so plan accordingly. The Lottery’s central computer system cannot process prize validations after 5 p.m. 

The Wilsonville Payment Center in Wilsonville is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday (excluding state holidays). Claims over $50,000 must still be redeemed at the main Lottery office in Salem.

How many Oregon Lottery retailers are there?

The Oregon Lottery has about 1,700 Lottery retailers who sell only our traditional products (Oregon’s Game Megabucks, Powerball, Scratch-its, Keno, etc.), and about 500 retailers who sell only Video Lottery games. About 1,760 retailers sell both types of Lottery games, for a total of approximately 3,938 Oregon Lottery retailers. 

Problem Gambling and Responsible Gambling

What is the prevalence of problem gambling?

Gambling prevalence studies in Oregon, across the nation and Canada show that about two to four percent of adults have a gambling disorder and that another three percent are at risk to be disordered gamblers. This prevalence rate has remained steady for the past 40 years, even though both treatment programs and the availability of gambling venues has grown considerably. The Oregon Health Authority has commissioned a new prevalence study to be completed in the winter of 2015 that will provide new information specific to Oregon. 

What is the Oregon Lottery doing to address problem gambling?

What is the Oregon Lottery doing to address problem gambling? 

One percent of Oregon Lottery funds - over $10 million per biennium - are transferred to the Oregon Health Authority to fund free gambling addiction treatment programs.

In addition, the Lottery spends $2.5 million per biennium on advertising that promotes responsible gambling and ways for problem gamblers to connect with free treatment. The Oregon Lottery adopted a Responsible Gambling Code of Practice in October 2014 that sets forth the Lottery’s approach and program to promote responsible gambling. The practices cover every aspect of the Lottery’s business. The Lottery is currently working with partners in the responsible and problem gambling community to create a shared agenda of activities to curb problem gambling in Oregon.

If I, or someone I know, have a gambling problem, how do I get help?

If I, or someone I know, have a gambling problem, how do I get help? 

Regardless of the source of a gambling problem - casinos, internet, social games, or Lottery - problem gambling treatment in Oregon is free, confidential and it works. If you are (or someone you know is) gambling too much, you can call the Oregon Problem Gambling Helpline or chat live online with a certified gambling counselor. All information shared is confidential and this service is FREE to Oregon residents. Call toll-free 877-695-4648 or go to the website at www.opgr.org.

 For information on problem gambling go to www.opgr.org  

 

For information on problem gambling go to https://www.opgr.org/ 

Special thanks to the Atlantic Lottery Corp. for a portion of this information.