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Kentucky State Lotteries Laws

The majority of states operate an official lottery to raise revenue for education, housing, or some other specific public good or service. In fact, many states stipulate that a certain percentage of lottery revenue must be spent on a given beneficiary (preschool programs, for example). State lotteries typically consist of both number drawings (the player picks a string of numbers) and scratch-off tickets (with instant prizes). The odds of hitting a jackpot in any lottery are extremely low, but the payoff is potentially huge, often in the tens of millions.

The Kentucky State Lottery at a Glance

The state of Kentucky started its official lottery in 1989 and has raised more than $4.1 billion in state revenue, according to the Kentucky Lottery Web site. The statute directs the Kentucky Lottery Corporation to contribute 35 percent of total sales on dividends to the state, although the Kentucky Lottery Corp. claims 26.7 percent of sales went toward the state in fiscal year 2014. Proceeds go toward the Kentucky Early Childhood Reading Incentive Fund, the Kentucky Housing Corporation's Affordable Housing Trust Fund, and the general fund.

As in other states that have official lotteries, Kentucky statute prohibits the sale of lottery tickets to minors; makes it a crime to forge or alter tickets; and imposes a 180-day time limit for claiming prizes.

The following chart provides additional details about the Kentucky's state lottery laws.

Code Section 154A.010. et seq.
Distribution of Lottery Revenue 35% general fund; rest for expenses and prizes
Additional Purpose of Lottery Intended to benefit early childhood literacy programs, college grants and scholarships, affordable housing projects, and Vietnam War veterans
Lottery Prize Subject to Garnishment Yes
Time Limit to Claim Prize/Disposition 180 days/added to pool for future prizes or special prize promotions
Prohibited Related Activities Sale to minor; alter or forge tickets; attempt to win through fraud or deception or tampering with lottery equipment

Note: State laws are always subject to change at a moment's notice, usually through the passage of new legislation, voter approval of ballot initiatives, or opinions from higher courts. Be sure to contact a Kentucky gaming attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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