There's a lot of misinformation about what exactly you can and can't do with old losing scratch tickets in Massachusetts and why saving them is important if you want to save yourself some dough.

This came up recently after a few local Berkshire County residents hit some big winning prizes and it brought me back to an old coworker of mind who used to save all of his losing tickets. I love to gamble, but scratch tickets really aren't my thing so I was curious. This gentlemen told me that if you end up winning a large Massachusetts Lottery prize, you could deduct the total cost of your old saved tickets from the taxes you'd pay on you winnings.

It turns out that's not exactly correct, but there are perks and benefits to saving losing scratch tickets in Massachusetts.

Can You Deduct Old Losing MA Lotto Scratch Tickets from Taxes on Winnings?

 

Here's the Deal. If you do win a large taxed prize on a scratch ticket, you can't deduct you previous spending (old tickets) from the taxes you're going to incur on that particular prize, but according to mass.gov, you can deduct the cost of that winning ticket from your taxed winnings.

 

Massachusetts allows you to deduct the cost of any winning ticket or chance from the winnings you received from it, reducing your taxable lottery and gambling income. Even if you buy other tickets during the year, you can only deduct the cost(s) of the winning ticket(s)

mass.gov

 

Can You Claim Losing MA Lotto Scratch Tickets on Your Annual Taxes?

 

So why do some people insist on keeping piles of losing Massachusetts Lottery tickets? Can they really be claimed on your taxes? According to Pocket Sense, the short answer that yes, they can, but there are some stipulation. In order to claim gambling loss deduction, you must also report any winnings (regardless of amount) on your tax return, which might be more work than it's worth.

 

Like most things involving the IRS, there are rules and requirements that must be met in order to do so. You won’t be able to deduct losses on your taxes if you go with standard deductions. To claim lotto ticket losses on your taxes, first, you will have to be eligible to itemize. If your total gambling losses – plus all of your other itemized expenses – exceed the standard deduction for your filing status, only then would you itemize.

Pocket Sense

Can You Enter Your Losing MA Lotto into a Second Chance Drawing

So what you can you actually do to put those old losing tickets to work? You can enter Massachusetts Lottery Second Chance Drawings. MA Lotto will give you a chance to recoup those loses by entering your non-winning instant tickets into their Second Chance Drawings where you could cash prizes, exclusive experiential prizes, and a wide range of merchandise prizes. However, you must be a Mass Lottery VIP Club member to participate. It's free to join and you can do some at masslottery.com.

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LOOK: Here are 25 ways you could start saving money today

These money-saving tips—from finding discounts to simple changes to your daily habits—can come in handy whether you have a specific savings goal, want to stash away cash for retirement, or just want to pinch pennies. It’s never too late to be more financially savvy. Read on to learn more about how you can start saving now. [From: 25 ways you could be saving money today]