Will the bank really let you cash in that giant cardboard winning lottery check?


A large check and the largest Powerball win at the time. Jack Whittaker and family are almost dwarfed by its size.

It's part of the winning ritual - lottery jackpot winners photographed holding an oversized cardboard check with the gigantic prize amount shown on it. And usually the bigger the prize, the bigger the check.

But could these lucky recipients take the signed check down to the bank and cash it, or make a deposit using it?

According to Matt Soniak of mentalfloss, they might be able to, providing the check meets the bank's requirements.

That means the check must contain such essentials as:

  • - the account owner's name

  • - the account number

  • - the name and state of the bank

  • - an instruction to pay (pay to the order of...)

  • - the payee's name

  • - the dollar amount

  • - the signature of the account owner

However, the bank may have its own ideas on whether they will accept it. This is usually stated in the fine print. They will tell you whether your lottery check can be accepted in different formats, or whether you need to use their own forms to cash it.

And if you wonder whether the big check is all you get from the lottery organisation, you usually also receive a regular check for the bank.

The large one generally goes on the winner's den wall or above the fireplace.

Large checks are used for photo opportunities by the lottery organization, as many require the winners to be identified publicly - unlike the photo above.

It's also a way of showing publicly that they are genuine winners. 

READ MORE: 3 photos that show the bigger the prize, the bigger the matching check

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