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Gift of Lottery Ticket:

Posted by Mike C Posted on Mar 09 2012

 In a circumstance that made national news and was the subject of the 1994 movie, It Could Happen to You , a waitress was given a winning lottery ticket by a regular customer who was unaware that he held a winning ticket from the Florida Lotto. The taxpayer and her family had an informal agreement indicating their intent to share any lottery proceeds among family members and "take care of each other." Before claiming the prize, she formed an S corporation to receive the winning installment payments in which she held 49% of the stock and distributed the other 51% among family members. The IRS determined that she made a taxable gift, but she argued that no gift occurred because, at the time of the transfer, there was an enforceable contract that required the transfer to her family. The Tax Court held that taxpayer made a taxable gift of 51% of the ticket's value because there was no enforceable contract among the family. The family's oral statements were too indefinite, uncertain, and incomplete. Tonda Dickerson , TC Memo 2012-60 (Tax Ct.).