Lately, Powerball which is a multi state lottery has had some tremendous payouts for its winners. It also has been having tremendous payouts for scammers using it as a ploy to steal your money. Recently in Nevada, Barbara Harris received a telephone call telling her that she had just won $450,000 in the Powerball lottery. However, the caller, who said he was from the Powerball Commission told her that she needed to pay 1% of the winnings in order to collect the money. Harris was immediately skeptical, not just because of being asked to pay money before being able to claim her prize, but mostly because she never plays Powerball. She later received a fax from the “Powerball Commission” that looked very official and asked for personal information including her bank account number. Fortunately, Barbara Harris did not fall for this scam, but many others have around the country.
You will never have to pay fees before you can collect from Powerball or other legitimate contests and lotteries. Income taxes are due on lottery winnings, but generally those amounts are deducted from the prize before you receive it. You never have to pay the income taxes to the lottery sponsor. Finally, you never win contests and lotteries that you have not entered.