Reykjavik: Tax – free Lottó!

Posted on August 31, 2006


I have known for some time that Iceland has a lottery. But what I didn’t know is that it’s run by the hundreds of sporting associations in the Land and directly benefits them. And, unlike in Massachusetts, when you win, you win the entire chunk of money. None of this 50-cents-a-year-for-20-years business.
Here they just transfer the lump sum right into your bank account. Boom! And not only that, but winning the Icelandic lottery is the only thing in Iceland that happens absolutely tax-free. You don’t owe a dime of income tax on your Lottó winnings. Sweet! Sign me up! I’m always up for some regressive taxation without representation.

Saturday night’s weekly pot is 20 million ISK, or about 285 lahge, or about enough to buy a decent apartment in the heart of R-town. So I decided to buy some tickets today, you know, for research purposes. I picked up 10 quick-picks (sjálfval, in the local lingo) for 1000 ISK via the Lottó website, which also lets you direct your "contribution" to the sports association of your choice. Anyone can play online! Well, anyone with a kennitala, that is. Wish me luck … in my research.