In these tough economic times, there is always the lottery to consider, especially now that the U.S. Powerball Lottery has just increased to $1.5 billion USD. That means a Canadian winner could score approximately $2,141,475,000 (before taxes) after the Wednesday draw if they manage to guess the right numbers.
A little known fact about the Powerball Lottery is that Canadians, or any non-U.S. citizen, are allowed to play and collect the prize. But, there are limited ways to buy a ticket outside of the country.
While the online method using a third-party site like The Lotter is available but risky, the most legitimate way to get your tickets is to drive across the border and buy one. There’s one small catch, however: a U.S. law prohibits buying a lottery ticket in the U.S., taking it out of the country, and bringing it back in.
Of course there are ways around that. You could store the ticket at a friend’s house across the border, or even keep it in a locker or post box if available. Technically, you could even bury it under a rock somewhere in the forest (we vote for this option because it’s ridiculously bad ass). Or, you could run the risk of getting caught and take it home – and then back again – after you’ve won.
But besides the small obstacles in between you and the $2.1 billion, there is still the matter of winning. Potential winners must match all five white balls in any order and the red Powerball. The prize can be either paid out over 29 years or as a cash lump sum. If you match five white balls in any order, without the red Powerball, you will still walk away with $1,000,000 paid in cash. Tickets are only $2 USD each ($2.83 CAD).
Powerball says the overall odds of winning a prize are one in 25.
But the one more caveat, the tax on earnings, will set any Canadian winner back – non-U.S. residents will be charged 30% tax on the gross winnings. Bonus: If you buy in Washington state, you are exempt from the income tax many other states charge on lottery winnings. If you buy in Montana, however, you will have to pay 6.9% state tax.
With the 30% tax taken off, you’d still walk away with roughly $1.5 billion CAD. That’s nothing to sneeze at.
So, with all that said, will you be heading down to the U.S. to buy a ticket?