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Montana State Lotteries Laws

State lotteries are used to raise revenue for state coffers, often for education funding. In general, lotteries are games of chance with mostly cash prizes, which are heavily regulated. In Montana, there are several forms of lottery games including scratch tickets, plus Mega Millions, Powerball, Hot Lotto, Wild Card 2, and Montana Cash.

Who Can Play the Montana State Lottery?

Anyone 18 years or older can legally purchase a Montana Lottery ticket. All tickets must be purchased from licensed Montana Lottery retailers.

State Lottery and Taxes

For U.S. citizens furnishing Social Security numbers, Montana is required by law to withhold 6.9 percent state tax and 25 percent federal tax from any prize more than $5,000. If you don't have a social security number, the government will withhold 28 percent federal tax on any prize greater than $599. For non–residents of the U.S., the government must withhold 30 percent federal tax on any prize greater than $599.

Where Do The Lottery Funds Go?

Since July 1, 1995, all revenue the Montana Lottery returns to the State of Montana goes to the state's General Fund . The General Fund provides money to programs for the general operation of state government.

What is the Time Limit to Pick Up My Lottery Winnings?

For all lotto games, you must claim your prize within six (6) months of the drawing for which your winning play was eligible. For all Scratch games, you must claim your prize within six (6) months after the announced end of the game.

The basics of Montana state lottery laws are detailed in the following table, with links to related articles.

Code Section 23-7-101
Distribution of Lottery Revenue 45 percent prize money; after expenses, net revenue transferred to state lottery fund. Net revenue transferred to state general fund effective 7/1/99.
Additional Purpose of Lottery N/A
Lottery Prize Subject to Child Support Garnishment For prizes over $600. those owing child support through state child support enforcement agency.
Time Limit to Claim Prize/Disposition Six (6) months/paid into state lottery fund
Prohibited Related Activities Sale to minor; purchase only with cash or check; no credit.

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Montana gaming attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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