Prizes may cost you more than taxes

GILBERT, AZ - Machelle Glassburn says she'd never won a contest in her life until her raffle ticket was chosen in the Fall of 2017.

"I was excited," she said.

She had won a 2017 Jeep Wrangler Sport with a sticker price of nearly $35,000.

The ticket showed that she would be responsible for taxes, license and doc fees, which she says would amount to about $4000.

"I thought 'okay that's doable,'" said Glassburn. She also had the option of taking a $17,500 cash buyout.

Glassburn chose the Jeep.

But she said when she went to pick it up, the numbers kept adding up. She said there was an additional $1000 to pay for the hardtop option on the Jeep, plus "the full entire cost of the raffle," she said.  

That amount combined with what she had already ready expected to pay put the Jeep out of reach.

"They basically wanted to charge me $8200 to buy my prize," said Glassburn. "I'm thinking okay that doesn't sound right."

Glassburn's ticket lists some but not all of the terms of the contest. It refers participants to a website to get the official rules, but they weren't available.

After questioning the costs, she said she received an email from the Highland High School Football booster club. Five rules in, it lists the winner's responsibilities. They include the fee listed on the ticket and, "any other expenses not specifically listed herein."

Non-profits and booster clubs are exempt from gaming law so Glassburn said, "they could basically charge me what any fees that wanted."

A member of the booster club tells me the raffle was "very successful" and "helped pay for new uniforms" for the football team.   

He explained that the additional charges were to "pay for the marketing" of the raffle, including the printing of several thousand color tickets.

Unable to afford the Jeep, Glassburn took the cash.

And while she says she is grateful for what she got, she hopes future raffles will be upfront about all the costs.

"I would either like non-profits to held to the same laws that other gaming is held here in Arizona or I would like them to be transparent," she said.

The booster club tells me the raffle was its first fundraiser and if there is another, "we are absolutely going to put that (additional fees) on there (the ticket)."

Non-profit raffles may have exemptions that you don't expect, so it's a good idea to ask how much you are on the hook for, just in case you win.
 

Print this article Back to Top

What is Let Joe Know?

Let Joe Know protects YOU the consumer. We expose scams and hold businesses accountable for their contracts and agreements. Most important, we share consumer red flags before they hit your wallet!

ABC15's Let Joe Know reports air every weekday during ABC15 News at 6pm. You can also find them here and on the Let Joe Know Facebook page.

Want to help Let Joe Know? Become a volunteer! Call 1-855-323-1515 and leave your name, number to start helping us help others.

SO YOU WANT TO KNOW: COMMON QUESTIONS, EASY ANSWERS

REAL CHECK?
3-DAY CANCEL RULE
HOA DISPUTES 
DEBT COLLECTORS 
STOP JUNK MAIL
CHECKING CHARITIES
RENTAL DEPOSITS
ERASING ELECTRONICS
HIRING CONTRACTORS
PREVENT ID THEFT
IMPROVE CREDIT SCORES
CALL BLOCKERS
HOME WARRANTIES

WEBSITES YOU WANT TO KNOW

Free credit report
Class action settlements
Check businesses complaints
Contractor licenses
Latest recalls
Owed unclaimed money

Get in Touch with Let Joe Know