Lottery Card Winning Etiquette

The Holidays are time for giving and receiving.  Many people tend to give the gift of lottery scratch off tickets as small thank you for friendship and appreciation.  As I noticed many tickets being exchanged at work this season I was wondering what is the etiquette if a person wins a sizeable prize, say over $1,000?  Is the winner obligated to split 50/50?  Should the giver ask for a finders fee?

Here are some rules to follow when giving and receiving a lottery scratch off ticket this season.

Lottery Scratch-Off Etiquette


A Dollar and A Dream – it is the time before you scratch that is the best. Dreaming of the “what if” scenarios and imagining sitting on the beach in St. Kitts.  Good Luck.

Scratch Your Ticket Off in Isolation – people around you will only be happy for you if you win anything less than $200.  Over that amount and they will begin to despise you and the giver as they wanted to be the winner of some of that sweet cheddar. So take you ticket behind closed doors and try to remain expressionless.

Be Grateful to the Giver – the giver is really trying to make a nice gesture and does want you to win a small amount of cash.  Kindly say “thank you” and joke in jest that you will share the prize if you hit it big.  The odds are against you for hitting it big, however the gesture of the potential prize splitting is a winner in its own right.

No Need to Share for a Winner under $200 – if you hit a winning ticket that pays out under $200 be free to keep all the money for yourself.

A Token Present is Expected for Winning Tickets between $250 – $1,000 – after you claim your money go out and get the giver a gift card to a favorite restaurant if the winnings are on the higher end, if closer to the $250 a Yankee Candle or 12 pack of beer/bottle of wine is appropriate.

Share the Wealth over $1,000 – You are not obligated to do so, but I put the rule of thumb at sharing 10% of winnings after taxes.  Yes, we all want the money for ourselves, but don’t be greedy, remember Karma is real.  The receiver and all of your friends will look at you with the person with true character and integrity.

Million Dollar winner – run and hide, run and hide.


Expect only a thank you – the receiver technically owes you nothing if they win.  Be happy for them, this is why you give them a scratch-off ticket as a gift.  If you only wanted the receiver to win a few bucks you should have just gave a Red Lobster gift card.


2 thoughts on “Lottery Card Winning Etiquette

  1. Pingback: The Post(s) of Christmas Past | Squirrels Hate Me

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