The Receipt Lottery

Posted on August 12, 2012 by


I may be late to the party on this one – the word’s been going around for at least a few months. However, I have heard now from a couple of TLGVs that they have won – 10 lari here, 5 lari there – so I thought it might be worth a post.

Georgia has a Receipt Lottery. Basically the way it works is this: you buy a thing, or some things, and you get a receipt. On the receipt are a bunch of numbers. You go to this website and you put the numbers in, and it tells you if you’ve won or not. If you win you bring the receipt to a bank (Liberty Bank is fine) with your ID and they give you some moneys. If you lose you throw the receipt in the fire you use to barbecue pork or heat water for your shower. It’s a win-win!

From what I understand the purpose of the receipt lottery is to aid in tax collection. How does that work, you ask? Well, the lottery, in theory, encourages people to ask for receipts. The receipts are generated by a machine that records all transactions for tax purposes. Basically if you are a store clerk and you ring up a purchase on the receipt machine, you have to pay taxes on it; if you fail to ring it up on the tax machine, you might be able to get away with not paying taxes on it.

Incidentally, one of the numbers that you put into the receipt lottery website is a store code that identifies which receipt machine, and thus which store, produced the receipt in question. I imagine that having a large, semi-random set of receipts being put into the system allows the authorities to do some kind of statistical analysis, maybe, but I’m no social scientist.

If you don’t happen to have regular web access, then 1) thanks for using your limited internet time to read the TLG blog! and 2) you can also check your receipt on your cell phone. Just dial *200# and hit send, and enter the two numbers as instructed. If that’s not working out, head out to a pay box (TBC PAY or PAY BOX) and check your receipts when you go to put more money on your phone.

Good luck!