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Louisiana State Lotteries Laws

Unfortunately, the odds of winning a lottery are quite low. Lower than getting hit by a car, in fact. However, it’s good to know the money is being used by Louisiana to invest in the future of our children.

Louisiana started its state lottery in 1991. Since 2004, the lottery proceeds have funded public education in Louisiana through the “Minimum Foundation Program.” Even before that, the proceeds were primarily used for K-12 public education.The following table outlines the main lottery laws in Louisiana.

Code Section Louisiana Revised Statutes Title 47 – Revenue and Taxation 47:9000 to 47:9081: Louisiana Lottery Corporation Law
Distribution of Lottery Revenue At least 35% of the lottery proceeds (gross revenue) are legally required to be transferred to the state treasury. More than half of the money coming in goes out to lottery winners.

In addition, the Louisiana Lottery Corporation is self-funded with about 6% of the revenue going to operations. Another $500,000 is allocated to Compulsive and Problem Gaming Fund to help those with gambling addiction.
Additional Purpose of Lottery One of the purposes of the Louisiana lottery is to enable “the people of the state to benefit from the profits."
Problem Gambling Louisiana lottery tickets have to include a toll-free phone number for mental health services for compulsive or problem gambling. Retailers who sell lottery tickets will need to post a sign with this problem gambling referral information.
Lottery Prize Taxable Proceeds from any Louisiana lottery over $500 are subject to the Louisiana state income tax.
Lottery Prize Subject to Garnishment Yes, lottery prizes are garnishable. Therefore, if you have outstanding judgments or child support arrears or anyone else you legally owe money too, if you were to win the lottery, they could find out and enforce their judgment on your winnings.
Time Limit to Claim Prize or Disposition A lottery winner has 180 days to claim the prize he or she has won. In a game where the player instantly determines if he or she has won or lost, the time limit to claim the prize is 90 days. Any unclaimed prize is added to the pool for future prizes or is used in special prize promotions.
Prohibited Related Activities Although the state lottery is legal in Louisiana, many associated activities aren’t legal, including:
  • Sale to Minors – Sale of lottery tickets to minors under 21 years old is prohibited, as is a person under 21 buying a lottery ticket. The seller can be fined $100-$500 for the first offense and $200-$1,000 for a second or subsequent offense. A minor is fine not more than $100 for breaking this law.
  • False or Altered Tickets – Altering or forging lottery tickets to influence winning a prize is fraud that can be punished by 5-20 years of prison without parole.
  • Skimming Lottery Proceeds – Intentionally excluding anything of value from the revenue or proceeds of the state lottery, with a penalty of up to 5 years in prison and a fine of not more than $5,000.
  • Bulk Sales – Any bulk sales or purchases of online lotto tickets by retailers, investment groups, or an individual for investment purposes is prohibited.

If you’re charged with any lottery-related crime, you should consult an experienced Louisiana criminal defense attorney or your public defender before providing information to the police.

If you win the lottery, you should immediately seek the assistance of an experienced Louisiana estate planning attorney and tax expert to protect your winnings. If you’re gambling is no longer fun and you’re ready to reach out for help, try calling the National Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522-4700.

Note: As state laws change frequently, you should verify these state laws by conducting your own legal research or contacting a Louisiana gaming lawyer.

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