I may be mistaken or confused, but I think my colleagues are under the impression that you are asking about using the lottery money to become a citizen. However, if I understand your question correctly, you are asking if you should collect the money yourself or if, because you are an illegal immigrant, you would not be able to and should instead give your wining ticket to a US citizen to collect winnings for you for a 50% cut of the money.
First, I must confess I'm not entirely sure whether or not you could collect your winnings with the information you've provided. Under Texas Law, it is permitted for illegal aliens to collect lottery winnings (compared to other states such as South Carolina, where such participation is not permitted under the law). However, to collect your prize you must have valid Identification. Even if you are an undocumented alien, you still need to present valid identification or you cannot collect your prize. Do you have identification? Furthermore, I would strongly advise against presenting fraudulent ID to collect your prize.
Second, you must be prepared to pay the tax that will be deducted from your winnings. It is my understanding that the Federal Government will take a 25% tax payment from legal permanent residents and 30% from undocumented aliens. Any back taxes and child support will also be deducted I think.
Third, I don't think that giving your winning ticket to US citizen to collect for you is a wise idea. First, whomever collects the winnings would be credited with that income, and any attempt to use someone else to collect it could be construed as an attempt to avoid paying taxes, although I'm not a tax expert. However, I would assume that if you have never paid taxes you could owe back taxes, and any effort to assign the income to someone else to avoid paying those taxes would have negative legal consequences.
Please remember this is not official legal advice, and this is no way establishes an attorney-client relationship. For a free 15 minute phone consultation please call 972-638-7207.
A person in the country without documentation "may" be able to collect on a winning lottery ticket. However, simply having financial means will provide no legal status. An undocumented person will likely have to return to the country of origin to apply for a green card unless one qualifies for a I-601 waiver under the new rules that just went into effect. Do consult an experienced immigration attorney for assistance.
I agree with my colleague.
(213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.
Anyone can win, pay required taxes, it does not grant permanent residence.
The above is intended as general information only and cannot be relied upon as legal advice. Call (212)880-1538 for detailed evaluation of your case. Laws change constantly and vary from state to state. The legal principals discussed may differ substantially from your personal situation. Therefore, You should consult an attorney about your particular situation. Visit us at WWW.USIMMIGRATIONPLUS.COM Contact Immigration Law Offices of Tsirina Goroshit at 275 Madison Avenue, 4th Floor New York, NY 10016