How to Calculate NC Lottery Taxes

By: Jared James, Founder
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The North Carolina lottery offers exciting opportunities to win big! Every day, you can check the NC Lottery results to see if you are one of the lucky winners. But what happens when you do score a winning ticket? Before cashing in on your prize, it’s important to understand how taxes may come into play. Let’s take a look at what you need to know about lottery taxes in the state of North Carolina!

When you win a prize from the NC Lottery, a portion of your winnings may be subject to tax withholdings. That is money taken out of your prize and sent to the taxing authorities for you. This is to ensure the government gets their cut before a winner accidentally spends all the winnings and is unable to pay taxes on the winnings at tax time.

For prizes over $5,000, 24% will go towards withholding for federal income tax, and 5.25% is withheld for state lottery taxes in North Carolina. All remaining winnings will be distributed to the player after these withholdings are taken out.

If you have multiple winning tickets or large winnings over time, there are some additional forms that must be filed before cashing out with the NC Lottery. In this case, players should consult a qualified accountant or financial planner to help manage their NC Lottery taxes properly.

Below we’ll provide general guidelines on how much taxes you should expect to pay on some big winnings. This information is only intended to provide general guidance on tax law. Please contact a qualified accountant or financial planner for more specific advice regarding the North Carolina Lottery taxes that apply to your individual situation.​

How Much Tax Do I Pay on a $1,000 Winning Lottery Ticket in North Carolina?

Federal tax withholdings only begin with prizes of more than $5,000 but state withholdings begin with all prizes of $600 or more.  With a $1,000 winning, you would only be subject to state tax withholdings of $52.50.

However, keep in mind this is only the withholdings the NC Lottery will take out of your winnings. You may still owe federal income taxes on your winnings even though they are not withheld from your disbursement.

Assuming a federal income tax rate of 24%, you may still owe an additional $240 to the federal government at tax time.

How Much Tax Will I pay if I Win $10,000 on a Lottery Ticket in NC?

In general, winners should expect $2,400, or 24% of the winnings, to be withheld for federal income taxes. An additional $525, or 5.25%, would be withheld for state taxes. 

This would leave approximately $7,075 remaining to be distributed to the player.

How Much Will I Pay in Taxes if I Win the Lottery for $1 million in NC?

With a $1MM prize, winners should expect to pay approximately $240,000, or 24% of their winnings, to the government for federal income taxes. On top of that, an additional $52,500, or 5.25%, would be withheld for North Carolina state taxes. 

There would be approximately $707,500 remaining to be distributed to the player. Not a bad payday!

The joy of winning the NC lottery shouldn’t be overshadowed by worrying about taxes. Knowing what to expect ahead of time can make all the difference in enjoying your big win! With some basic knowledge and planning, you can easily manage your NC lottery taxes with confidence. Good luck and happy playing!