Claiming a prize
Are you a lottery winner?
The first thing to do: Sign your ticket!
All lawful holders of lottery tickets purchased from a retailer must sign their ticket prior to validation.
When you sign it upon purchase, you make it easier to prove that you are the owner of the ticket and you protect your interests in case of loss. When a winning ticket is presented to Loto-Québec, the prize is only paid out to the lawful holder of the ticket. The name originally appearing on the ticket is taken into account.
A person may be required to provide proof that he has legal capability of receiving a prize before the latter is given to him.
Do not scratch anything out or make other unnecessary marks on your ticket, as these may generate additional verifications and therefore extend prize claim processing time.
Signing a group ticket
Tickets purchased by a group must be signed by each of the participants or by the person who is responsible for the group prior to validation. The group representative must write the words "as a group" next to his/her name and include a group agreement.
A ticket purchased with Formule groupe allows its owner to validate and independently claim any prize associated with it. Each Formule groupe group member must therefore sign his/her own ticket.
A winning ticket must be confirmed by means of its verification number, failing which no prize will be payable. Therefore, in order to claim a prize, you must always present your ticket.
A ticket that is illegible, mutilated, changed, altered, improperly cut, not clearly printed, incomplete, or which is erroneously printed or otherwise defective, will be deemed invalid unless Loto-Québec ascertains, by means of the verification number, that the ticket does in fact entitle its bearer to the prize being claimed.
Claim deadline and other information
The ticket claim period is one year from the draw date printed on the ticket or, for scratch tickets, one year from the product launch date.
In the event the lawful holder of a winning ticket dies, the prize will be paid out to the estate upon presentation of supporting documents.
Claiming a prize for a group
Follow the instructions indicated in the table below for Claiming a prize for a traditionally‑formed group. Cheques will be made out to the name of each lawful holder and remitted in person. Members of the group who are not present to claim their prize in person will receive a cheque by mail.
With Formule groupe, the claim process is the same as for an individual ticket, as each member of the group holds a valid ticket indicating the number of shares he/she purchased. He/she may, therefore, validate his/her ticket and claim his/her share of the prize when convenient, independently of other group members.
Ticket purchased in another province
To claim a prize with a winning ticket purchased in another province, follow the instructions indicated on the back of the ticket or ask for information from the lottery corporation concerned.
Ticket claimant from another country
A visitor from abroad who purchases a lottery ticket in Canada and wins a cash prize must obtain information on tax laws in effect in his/her country.
Loto-Québec will not mail a cheque outside the country.
LotterY TICKETS purchased online (individually or in a group)
For lotteries purchased online, the prize amount(s) will be deposited directly to the winner’s Espacejeux account if the total cash amount of the prize won with a single ticket is less than $25,000.
For cash prizes worth $25,000 or more, merchandise prizes and "annuity" type prizes, a customer service agent will directly contact the winner to explain the terms for claiming the prize. Such prizes must be claimed in person by the winner at one of Loto-Québec’s offices in compliance with the provisions indicated in Espacejeux Specific Conditions of Use.
Quick Play games
If you wish to receive your winnings from a Quick Play game before the draw of the date indicated on the initial ticket, sign that ticket, give it to the retailer who will pay out your prize and will return the initial ticket to you, as well as a replacement ticket valid for the same draw. The replacement ticket will also indicate that the Quick Play game winnings have been paid out. Be sure to keep the replacement ticket, as it will enable you to claim any prize that may result from the draw.
Loto-Québec attaches the utmost importance to the integrity of its operations and public trust. Claim procedures are designed to protect our customers.
Except for online purchases, which are subject to the terms indicate above, you may claim your prize using the original ticket as follows:
|At a Loto-Québec retailer||It is important to first check that the retailer has the necessary cash on hand to pay your prize before getting your ticket validated. Once the ticket has been validated, you may claim your prize only from that retailer or from one of Loto-Québec’s offices.|
|At one of Loto-Québec’s offices||See our office addresses.|
|By mail*|| 1- Be sure to have properly filled out the back of your ticket by indicating your first and last names, complete address and telephone number
2– Fill out the prize claim form [PDF format - 114 KB], which is also available from retailers
3– Keep a photocopy of the front and back of your winning ticket
4– Mail everything, preferably by registered mail, to:
P.O. Box 7777, Stn. Centre-ville
Montréal, QC H3C 4L4
|At one of Loto-Québec’s offices|| In addition to the original ticket, which you will have duly filled out on the back, you must heed the following steps:
1– Provide a valid ID (driver's licence, health insurance card or passport)
2– Fill out the prize claim form [PDF format - 114 KB], which is also available from retailers, as well as the included questionnaire
|By mail*|| Follow the instructions indicated above for claiming winnings or a prize share of $600 or less by mail and:
Attach a photocopy of valid photo ID (driver’s licence, health insurance card or passport) and your answers to the questionnaire contained in the prize claim form [PDF format - 114 KB], which is also available from retailers
|At one of Loto-Québec’s offices|| In addition to providing the original ticket which you will have duly filled out on the back, you must heed the following steps:
1- Keep a photocopy of the front and back of the winning ticket
2– Present the prize claim form [PDF format - 114 KB], which is also available from retailers, duly filled out by each group member
3– For prize shares of over $600, each group member must also provide a photocopy of a valid form of ID (driver’s licence, health insurance card or passport) and fill out the questionnaire included in the claim form
4- Attach a group purchase agreement
See our office addresses
|By mail*|| 1- Keep a photocopy of the front and back of the winning ticket.
2- Send the documents indicated in points 1, 2, 3 and 4 above to:
P.O. Box 7777, Stn. Centre-ville
Montréal, QC H3C 4L4
|Gift won in categories 1 or 2:|
|In person||At one of Loto-Québec’s offices|
|By mail*|| At Loto-Québec’s head office
1– Keep a photocopy of the front and back of your winning ticket
2– Mail everything, preferably by registered mail
| Cadeau surprise:
Until March 1, 2015, at one of Loto-Québec’s counters
|At an authorized supplier [PDF format - 56 KB]|
|Gift won in categories 3 or 4:|
| The prize may only be claimed by mail.
1– Attach a photocopy of one of the following valid forms of photo ID: driver’s licence, health insurance card or passport. The expiration date must be visible.
2– You must also provide the duly filled out questionnaire included in the prize claim form [PDF format - 114 KB], which is also available from retailers.
*The claimant assumes all risks related to sending tickets by mail (loss, delays, etc.) and recognize that it may cause a delay in a prize payout, if applicable.
When validating your ticket at a Loto-Québec retailer
- Listen for the musical tones.
Listen carefully when you validate your ticket. If you’ve won a prize, the terminal will play a musical indication. Pay attention because this gives you an auditory signal that you have a winning ticket.
This tone indicates that the amount you’ve won is payable by the retailer ($600 or less):
This tone indicates that the prize you’ve won is not payable by the retailer (either in goods or in an amount of more than $600) and that you must fill out a prize claim form [PDF format - 114 KB], which is also available from retailers, to claim your prize at one of Loto-Québec’s offices or by mail.
This musical tone means that the retailer must immediately give you one or several free tickets:
- Watch the customer message display on the terminal.
When you validate your ticket, the terminal display should be visible at all times. It will tell you if your ticket is a winner and how much you’ve won.
- Ask for your ticket and the matching validation slip.
As soon as your ticket has been validated, the retailer has to return your ticket and the matching validation slip printed from the terminal. Make sure the control number on your ticket corresponds to the one on the validation slip.
Who can help?
We recognize that each winner’s dreams, needs and situation are unique, so we have kept the following suggestions general.
In most cases, winners of large sums of money do not experience an overnight change in their daily life.
Two rules of thumb:
- Give yourself some time to think things through before making decisions.
- Once you’ve made up your mind, seek the services of reputable accredited professionals from established organizations.
Where to start
Should your cheque be lost or stolen, just notify Loto-Québec. We will take the necessary steps to issue a stop payment on the cheque and issue you a new one.
We recommend that you deposit your cheque at your bank branch, not at an ATM.
The first step, which is both prudent and profitable, is to deposit your check in a short-term certificate of deposit. This way, the time you take to reflect will bear fruit to your winnings, as these certificates generally offer better interest rates than a regular savings account.
Who does what?
Loto-Québec is not a financial planning consultant company. Our mandate does not include this type of service. However, we can certainly help winners by informing them of the kind of expertise to which they might want to turn. Many resources offering sound advice are at your disposal.
- Accountant or professional financial planner
- Notary (in French only)
- Financial institutions, banks, credit unions, savings and credit cooperatives, and trust corporations
Get information about the services offered by your financial institution and other institutions. Compare the interest rates of different types of investments in effect at the various institutions.
It’s up to you to determine your needs and find out about fees. Fees at trust corporations can be negotiable, depending on the size of your portfolio and the services rendered.
Whatever your decision, we recommend you monitor your investments closely.
Publicity surrounding your win
By signing the ticket, the winner consents to the publication by Loto-Québec of his name, of his region and of his photograph, if Loto-Québec deems it appropriate. This rule is one of the conditions of participating in the game and allows Loto-Québec to provide the public with proof of the prizes won by consumers. It is a question of fundamental transparency.
As a winner of a major prize, you may be asked, depending on advertising needs, to take part in a photo session and a brief interview about the circumstances surrounding your win. The following rules apply to the photo session:
- The winner’s face must be uncovered
- Overt theatrics are not permitted
- Loto-Québec may require photo ID to confirm the winner’s usual appearance
If a winner refuses to comply with these rules, Loto-Québec reserves the right to suspend prize payment. The same rules apply to prizes claimed by mail.
The information gathered may be used to write a press release sent to the media. In some cases, your stroke of luck could be advertised on Loto-Québec’s web site and intranet, on the digital displays at some of our points of sale and via any other communications network, including social media.
In order to mitigate as much as possible any potential inconvenience to winners, Loto-Québec applies the following rules:
- A 5-working day delay is applied between the time a major prize is claimed and the disclosure to the media of information concerning the winner, except if it has already been broadcast in the media. This period allows you to catch your breath and take the steps of your choice (notify family and employer, meet with a financial adviser, change telephone numbers, install an alarm system, plan a trip, etc.).
- Aside from the winner’s name and photograph, information released remains of a general nature. For example, we will indicate the winner’s region rather than the town or village, the type of work instead of the actual place of work, and no details will be revealed concerning family status, the number and age of children, etc.
- Loto-Québec Customer Service staff provide winner with guidance. In addition to receiving advice and documentation, millionaires are able to reach a Customer Service staff member by telephone. Furthermore, the staff member who greeted a top prize winner will place a follow-up call one month later to enquire about the winner’s new situation.
- Loto-Québec and the winner may agree to hold a press conference. Loto-Québec will explain to you in advance the pros and cons of such an event. Should you meet with reporters at the time you claim your prize or hold a press conference, you can count on the assistance of our personnel. Do not let yourself be intimidated by reporters and don’t hesitate to refuse to answer any question you feel is inappropriate.
Although Loto-Québec reserves the right to publish, for advertising purposes, the name, region of residence and photograph of any winner, by virtue of the Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information (R.S.Q. c. A-2.1), the Corporation may not, under any circumstances, disclose any list of winners directly to the public.
Winnings and taxes
Lottery winnings are not taxable. Therefore no federal or provincial taxes are payable on the winnings themselves. However, revenue generated by this capital (interest or other revenue) is taxable.
Taxation laws on investment income are complex. Taxation measures vary according to circumstances and type of investment. A person who wins a large sum in a lottery may benefit from the services of a tax specialist or the help of an agent from Québec’s Ministry of Revenue or the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency.
Money given by winners of a prize to anyone, whether spouse, loved-ones or anyone else, is not taxable. Individuals who receive such gifts do not have to declare these sums as taxable income. However, if the recipient is a resident of Canada, he must declare revenue from interest and other profits generated by such gifts or by goods acquired with these gifts.
In the case of gifts made to a spouse or a minor (a person under 18 years of age, having a relationship of dependence with the winner, or a nephew or niece), the winner retains full responsibility for profits or losses resulting from such gifts. Thus, the winner is required to include, when calculating his or her personal income, profits or losses resulting from sums thus bestowed.
Winners are subject to this law so long as they reside in Canada, are married to the person to whom they have given money, and until the minor to whom they have given money has reached the age of majority.
Keep in mind
Certain other details could come into play. Therefore, we recommend consulting a tax expert on this subject.
Lottery winnings and family patrimony
Lottery winnings and interest accrued on them are not considered to be part of the family estate. Consult a professional (a notary or lawyer) for more information on this subject.
Gifts to charitable organizations
Donations made to charitable organizations are tax exempt.
Once again, tax credits for the sum of donations given over the course of a given year are subject to certain rules. Therefore, it is advisable to seek professional advice on this subject.
As a winner, you may be contacted by strangers asking for financial assistance or a charitable donation. Such solicitations need to be handled with caution, especially those made verbally.
It is important not to accede to this type of request without knowing more about the person or organization making the request. Check to make sure they are who they claim to be. Ask the organization to submit a written request and to provide details on its activities, purpose and the causes supported, in addition to its registration number as a charitable organization, which is issued by tax authorities. Be especially wary of people who pressure you to make a decision.
Lottery winnings and government benefits
If you receive social assistance, a disability pension or any other form of government benefit, you must inform the appropriate authorities about the win as soon as possible. Be sure to ask for all necessary information on the impact the win will have on your beneficiary status, and seek legal advice as necessary.
No prizes awarded to minors
It is illegal to sell lottery tickets to minors. In addition, Loto-Québec’s policy is to refrain from awarding prizes to those under the age of 18.
Any and all prizes won by a minor must be paid to the minor’s guardian. Loto-Québec reserves the right to suspend payment until proof of legal guardianship is received. In such a case, Loto Québec will withhold the prize until such time as a legal guardian is named.
The above rules apply even if a ticket is signed by a minor and an adult. The portion of the prize won by the adult will be paid out, whereas the minor’s portion will be withheld.