Gambling Feed

One lucky Powerball winner tonight could pocket $478 million if the jackpot is paid out over 39 years. Some of my old Powerball tickets. And yes, I do have one for tonight's big drawing. It's more likely, however, that any winner will take the immediate lump sum option. That's a cash prize of "just" $330.6 million. That taxable lump sum amount also earns this week's By the Numbers honor. A handful of folks have won relatively smaller amounts in the three months that the main Powerball jackpot has been growing. Just this last week, a Florida ticket matched enough numbers... Read more →

It's been a good few days for lottery players. The Mega Millions $540 million jackpot was won last night, Friday, July 8, by a ticket buyer in Cambridge City, Indiana. Yokasta Boyer holding her big check from the New Jersey Lottery. (Photo courtesy N.J. Lottery Commission) And just the day before, Thursday, July 7, the New Jersey Lottery announced that a woman discovered a $472,271 winning ticket for one of that state's lottery games as she was going through some papers in order to file her tax return. Mega mystery: We don't know yet who bought the Indiana winning ticket.... Read more →

Even without the Triple Crown on the line, today is still a big one for thoroughbred race fans. Could Suddenbreakingnews, getting a workout back in March, spoil Exaggerator's quest for another trophy in today's Belmont Stakes? Exaggerator, who out raced rival and previously undefeated Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist in Baltimore's muddy Preakness Stakes last month, is the favorite to win the Belmont Stakes later today. But the wide open field -- Nyquist's owners pulled the pony because it had been dealing with a fever and elevated white blood count -- has opened up the betting. A new horse in the... Read more →

It's Derby Day. No, not the hat, although fancy chapeaux are a big part of the big race in the Bluegrass State. Well-dressed racing fans at the 2008 Kentucky Derby. Photo by Lee Burchfield via Flickr. It's the running of the Kentucky Derby, the first leg of horse racing's Triple Crown. Thanks to American Pharoah's wins last year at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky; Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland; and Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, we're starting a new quest for the world's best thoroughbred. Winning race bets are taxable: The tax focus on this and other big... Read more →

It's a wonderful day. In preparation for the 2016 National Football League draft that starts tonight at 8 p.m./7 Central, we step back from the drama of the presidential campaign and get ready for the drama of which young men will become instant millionaires. I'm a Dallas Cowboys fan, so the draft fascination for me is what crazy move owner Jerry Jones might make. (Photo by Kay Bell; Cowboys vs. Lions, Nov. 21, 2010, at Jerry World) As ESPN senior writer Mike Sando notes, "Like its predecessors, the 2016 NFL draft has proved to be unpredictable and, come Thursday night,... Read more →

This was supposed to be the year that the Internal Revenue Service and its Security Summit partners clamped down on tax identity thieves. So much for the best-laid plans to fight tax fraud. The 2016 filing season has seen a series of tax security concerns, both among private tax service providers and the IRS. Identity protection site targeted:The latest trouble is a possible security problem with the IRS' Identity Protection Personal Identification Number, or IP PIN, online retrieval tool. An IP PIN is used by folks who've had their tax filing data stolen. They use their IRS-issued six-digit IP PIN... Read more →

I am not a big gambler. Sure, as long-time readers of the ol' blog know, I buy lottery tickets. Way too many lottery tickets. But when the hubby and I go to Las Vegas, we go for the shows -- Cirque du Soleil, Penn and Teller, Blue Man Group -- not the betting. Today, however, is one of my favorite days of the year and it's not because of the Super Bowl itself, but because of the prop bets. (Full disclosure: That will change when the Cowboys finally get back to the championship game.) Beyoncé's appearance in today's Super Bowl... Read more →

What do hearts and flowers, leaping amphibians and taxes have in common? February! The shortest month of the year is upon us. In 2016, however, it's a day longer because it's Leap Year, hence the frog allusion, adding a 29th day to our calendars. Then, of course, there's Feb. 14, Valentine's Day. And February also is a traditionally busy time for taxes. This is the month that most of us finally get all the tax statements we need to file our returns. And folks who filed early are anxiously awaiting their refunds. Whether you're working on your 2015 taxes or... Read more →

The buzz about the biggest U.S. lottery ever continues, as we wait for the rest of the Powerball winners to come forward. So far, just Jim and Lisa Robinson, the Tennessee ticket buyers, have claimed their portion of the $1.5 billion prize. Many lottery veterans and financial experts have questioned the couple's public acceptance of their millions (they're taking the lump sum payment), but what's done is done. Jim and Lisa Robinson (she's in the fuchsia jacket, with her husband to the left of her in this screenshot), America's newest lottery millionaires, talk about their good luck. Click image to... Read more →

Powerball Update, Aug. 24, 2017: A Powerball ticket buyer in Massachusetts has won almost $759 million, the largest single jackpot ever in North America. That person definitely will be added to the list of luckiest lottery winners. He or she also will make the Internal Revenue Service and Massachusetts Department of Revenue very happy with the taxes that are due on the historic winnings. A Lottery is a Taxation, Upon all the Fools in Creation; And Heav'n be prais'd, It is easily rais'd, Credulity's always in Fashion; For, Folly's a Fund, Will never lose Ground; While Fools are so rife... Read more →

The big question when it comes to fantasy sports is are the popular online operations games of skill or gambling? The answer according to New York's top lawyer is gambling. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (right) on Tuesday, Nov. 10, sent cease and desist notices to DraftKings and FanDuel. "Our review concludes that [the company's] operations constitute illegal gambling under New York law," Schneiderman wrote in the letter sent to the two fantasy sports sites. "Our investigation has found that, unlike traditional fantasy sports, daily fantasy sports companies are engaged in illegal gambling under New York law, causing the... Read more →

A couple of weeks ago, Rep. Frank Pallone called for a Congressional review of fantasy sports operations. The ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee is concerned about the relationships of professional sports teams and players with the fake leagues. The New Jersey Representative also is seeking clarification on just how, if at all, playing fantasy sports differs from gambling. Pallone renewed his call for a hearing today in the wake of reports of so-called insider trading of information by employees of fantasy sports providers DraftKings and FanDuel. Dave and Rob Gomes, brothers from Boston, Massachusetts, won $1... Read more →

The ubiquitous ads for fantasy sports companies have attracted some unintended attention. Rep. Frank Pallone, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, wants that panel to explore exactly fantasy sports differ from gambling. It's a question that literally hits home for Pallone's constituents. The Democratic Congressman represents New Jersey, which has been fighting to make sports betting legal in the Garden State. Supporters of the effort, which was approved by state voters, is seen as another way to bring tourism and tax revenue to the state, particularly Atlantic City and the state's racetracks. Now, in a letter to... Read more →

I am so jazzed for tonight. Tom Brady Deflators New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers. Football is finally here! I know, college games started last weekend, but I'm not a big fan of any college sport. I always feel a little guilty yelling at ostensible student athletes. But I have no qualms unloading on the highly-paid pros. They're getting very good money to deal with my verbal admonishments, even though they can't hear them through my TV (yet). I've been getting ready for the kickoff of the NFL's golden Super Bowl season by stocking up on throat lozenges, reading a... Read more →

Gambling is big business. It's also big tax money. But the Internal Revenue Service gets the short e... Read more →

Want to spend some up-close and person time with a potential presidential nominee? It's not exactly the type of sweepstakes that most Americans want to enter, but some folks are entering contests in which they can win face-to-face time with the next potential U.S. president. National Journal reports that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and her Republican nominee wannabe counterparts Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson have all gotten into this additional type of political contest. And just like the more popular nonpolitical games of chance (you do have your ticket for tonight's Mega Millions $214 million jackpot, right?), there... Read more →

There were no winners last week in literal national lottery games or in a taxpayer's call to the Internal Revenue Service that turned out to be an unexpected gamble. Let's start with the lotteries, since there's a possibility that someone (maybe me!) could soon be a multimillionaire. Lottery prospects, taxes: The Powerball jackpot has climbed to $138 million $154 million, which translates to a lump sum payout of $86.3 million more than $96 million. The numbers will be drawn tonight Wednesday, May 27.* Another chance at a life of lottery-funded leisure comes on Tuesday, May 26, when the Mega Millions'... Read more →

The second leg of the Triple Crown runs today at Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course. You know what that means. I'm reminding all bettors of their tax responsibilities when it comes to gambling winnings. All eyes are on American Pharoah, the Kentucky Derby winner who's the favorite today. The horse racing community is hoping that the chestnut thoroughbred will become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. It would be great for the sport. Oddsmakers think he has the best shot at taking today's race. The downside for gamblers is that any bet payoffs won't be that much. But regardless of... Read more →

It's a momentous time for sports fans. The National Hockey League and National Basketball Association are well into their annual championship playoffs. The race for the Triple Crown started today, with American American Pharoah (yes, the horse's name is officially misspelled) crossing the finish line first in the Kentucky Derby. And tonight at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will finally step into the same ring to decide boxing's welterweight supremacy. Big betting day: The only people loving today more than sports fans are sports books. While the National Football League's Super Bowl typically is... Read more →

No, this is not another nag reminder from me to report your NCAA men's basketball championship winning bets as income when you file your 2015 tax return next year. It is instead a warning to be honest about any gambling losses you claim to offset your Duke vs. Wisconsin office pool or any other winning wagers. Apparently some filers are betting they can get away with using losing lottery tickets they purchased, or even rented, from others to reduce their taxable gambling income. That, my wagering friends, is definitely a bad tax bet. Writing off gambling losses: Everyone, or at... Read more →