If you have any lucky charms laying around, you might want to start hording them as fast as possible.
The jackpot for America’s Powerball lottery just climbed to $1.5 billion – that’s right, billion. And you, a Canadian, could have the chance to win it all. Before you high-tail it over to the border to enter, though, there’s some details you should be aware of (and seriously, you’ll want to read this, because it could cost you all of your winnings if you don’t).
First off, there is no law that prevents a Canadian from crossing the border, buying a Powerball ticket and then collecting the jackpot if they were to win. That’s the good news. But it’s actually a little more tricky than that. As Canadians flock south in droves to take advantage of the massive jackpot, some border officers have been issuing a warning.
It turns out that U.S. law prohibits anyone from importing “any lottery ticket” into the country, which means a Canadian who buys a Powerball ticket must stay in the U.S. until they can claim their prize. If you leave with the ticket, and then attempt to re-enter America to collect any winnings, you will be in violation of that law. Considering that the draw will take place on Jan. 13 though, that may not be such a deal breaker.
Furthermore, while the Canadian government does not tax lottery winners, Uncle Sam does. The IRS will frisk the winner for 30 per cent of the jackpot (25 per cent for American citizens). Although, thanks to a weakening loonie, once you exchange those greenbacks back home, you’ll likely earn that money back with interest.