Powerball jackpot lures Albertans to snap up tickets
It's the biggest lotto prize in its history at $1.5B US
Fame and fortune (but mostly fortune) are luring some Albertans across the border this week to snap up Powerball lottery tickets.
"You're not going to win if you don't have a ticket, right?" said Dylan Ireland, who drove from Medicine Hat to Havre, Mont., on Tuesday to buy several hundred dollars worth of tickets.
"It's only an hour and a half away, so we just thought we'd make a day trip out of it and have our chance at $1.5 billion US."
And he's not alone.
Lana Herman, the manager at the Gallery Lounge in Havre, says she's meeting a lot of Canadians this week.
"They just say they need a lot of them and they have money from friends that couldn't get down here and they're busy buying them for them."
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Herman says she's also hearing a lot of grumblings about the size of the prize.
"It's a lot of money. I mean, that would just ruin somebody's life," she said. "A lot people think it's way too high and it should be divided up way more and quite a few winners."
It's the biggest jackpot in history and Canadians are eligible to win.
But if a Canuck does happen to beat the one in 292 million odds tonight — the winner could run into some problems.
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It's legal to purchase powerball tickets in the U.S. and take them back to Canada. But according to a spokesperson with the Montana Lottery, when you cross the American border to claim our prize, there's a chance your golden ticket could get confiscated.
That's because U.S. federal law prohibits you from bringing purchased tickets back into the United States.
And another catch? Uncle Sam takes a cut of your winnings.
Those with a U.S. Social Security or tax ID number pay 25 per cent off the top. For Canadians, that figure increases to 28 per cent.
However lottery winnings — even those from another country — are not treated as taxable income in Canada.