How to Split Lottery Winnings with Family or Co Workers
Tips & Tricks

How to Split Lottery Winnings with Family or Co-Workers

Sharing the jackpot: a comprehensive guide to fairly dividing lottery winnings among family or co-workers.

Getting in on the lottery can be great fun, especially if you find yourself the lucky winner of a substantial amount of money. While you’ve been daydreaming about what you would do with that money, have you considered how to split lottery winnings with family or co-workers? 

You do want to share, right? Okay, okay, so the answer is maybe, but maybe not. Some critical considerations exist when splitting lottery winnings with family, friends or co-workers.

But, first things first...

Can you split lottery winnings with family? 

Yes! You can share money with your family after a big lottery win. But there are some essential points to consider:

  • Decide whether you want to share: This is a personal decision only you can make, and there’s nothing wrong with keeping your winnings. But if you want to spread the wealth, that’s good too.
  • Get advice: Get the advice of a professional, such as an estate lawyer or a financial planner, before you start handing out the cash. They can help you understand tax implications, legal issues and other factors related to your gifts.
  • Know your taxes: Those same professionals (along with a certified public accountant) can help you understand what taxes you will pay so you can set aside enough money for tax time and don’t have to deal with a surprise tax bill.
  • Decide how to share: Will everyone get an equal share? Will those with more financial need get a bigger chunk of the pie? Or will you use some other factor to decide who gets how much? However you break it down, clearly communicate your reasoning.
  • Write it down: When you make your decision about who gets what, put it in writing. (Yes, you may need to get a lawyer involved.) This will help avoid potential problems later.
  • Think about trusts or annuities: If you don’t want family members to squander the money immediately, consider placing it in a trust or annuity for each member. This will release the cash at a predictable rate and ensure the money lasts.
  • Be a great communicator: Be open and honest with the people you gift money to about how much and why. Be able to explain your reasoning to avoid misunderstandings and resentments in the future.

How much is my lottery payout?

splitting lottery winnings with family
Ronnie and Brandon won $50,000 in their private lottery pool on Jackpocket named “Brothers.”

A number of factors will determine how much money you will receive after winning the lottery, which could impact your decision to split your winnings:

  • Payout options
  • Tax implications
  • Federal and state taxes

Understanding payout options

When you win a top prize with the lottery, you may have two choices for payout: a lump sum or an annuity option

It is important to consult with a professional who can help you decide which option is best for your unique situation. They can also help you decide how to store your winnings, whether that’s in multiple bank accounts, investments and other ways.

Be tax savvy!

So, it’s time to talk about the elephant in the room: taxes. You don’t want to do all this work around how to split lottery winnings with family only to have everyone pay more in taxes. You can’t gift money to others to try to avoid paying taxes on the winnings. In fact, if you gift enough, there might be even more taxes to pay! This is called the gift tax. 

You can gift up to $18,000 per person per year without facing the gift tax. If you are married, you and your spouse can gift up to $18,000 each to the same person, for a total of $36,000 per person per year. In addition to the annual gift tax limit, there is a lifetime limit of $13.61 million per person in gift funds.*

There are other rules around gift taxes, and we suggest you talk with your tax advisor.

*Current for 2024. Take note! We are not tax experts. For the official word on lottery winnings and your federal and state taxes, double check the gambling income rules laid out at, your state taxing authority and contact a CPA or tax attorney.

Understanding federal and state taxes

When considering how to split lottery winnings with your family, it’s important to understand the amount you’ll have available to distribute. When you win, a chunk of your winnings goes to the IRS immediately. They will take 24% of your prize right off the top. You will need to claim your winnings on your tax return for that year. The prize is considered taxable income and will be taxed accordingly. Be ready, as the prize money will likely push you into a higher tax bracket. 

Depending on the state you live in, you will be subject to state taxes in addition to your federal taxes. If you live in one of these states, consider yourself lucky. You won’t owe state taxes on lottery wins on top of federal income tax: 

For all other states, see your state website for additional information regarding how much to expect for state taxes, or consult with a local tax attorney or certified public accountant who can help you be ready to pay your required taxes.

Lottery pools: splitting lottery winnings with co-workers

splitting lottery winnings with coworkers
Play the lottery as a group on the Jackpocket lottery app.

Did your work lottery pool just win the grand prize? Woo-hooo! Did you set up rules beforehand regarding who claims the money and how it’s distributed? No? Well, let's find out how to split lottery winnings with co-workers.

You want to prevent a dispute in case your group wins. So, have a designated leader responsible for collecting the money (electronic funds are better than cash because there’s a record!) and copying and distributing images of the tickets. (You can also play as a group in a Jackpocket Pool, and this is all done on the app  for you!). 

This leader should also be the holder of the contract you should have drawn up in advance, indicating what happens when you win. The contract will also spell out which games they will order tickets for and who will be the representative at the lottery commission to claim the prize. You will also need to decide as a group whether to take the lump sum or annuity option if you win. Everyone involved in the contract should sign it.

All this information is for naught if you don’t order your tickets. Jackpocket makes ordering your tickets a breeze, even if you’re joining the fun in a lottery pool with co-workers or friends. Just download the app (or visit us online!), create an account, and set up your Pool to get started. Whether it’s a Public or Private Pool, you’ll be off to the races! Everyone who is invited to the pool has the option to contribute, and you order your tickets when you’re ready!

Download Jackpocket to get started today!

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