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New Jersey State Lotteries Laws

The majority of states operate official lotteries, games of chance in which players pay a fee to choose a series of numbers (or play scratch-off tickets) for the opportunity to win cash prizes. Typically, states name an official beneficiary of lottery revenue, typically education programs. In New Jersey, for example, lottery net proceeds are legally required to be used for state institutions including higher education and senior citizen programs.

The main provisions of New Jersey's state lottery laws are listed below, with links to additional resources.

Code Section 5:9-1, et seq.
Distribution of Lottery Revenue Payment of prizes and expenses with appropriations to state institutions and state aid for education
Additional Purpose of Lottery Entire net proceeds to be used for state institutions and state aid for education including higher education and senior citizen education
Lottery Prize Subject to Garnishment For arrears of court-ordered child support obligations, and former recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), food stamps, or low income home energy assistance who were overpaid
Time Limit to Claim Prize/Disposition 1 year/allocated in same manner as lottery revenue is allocated by state
Prohibited Related Activities Forged/altered tickets; sale above fixed price; unauthorized sale

Types of Lottery Allowed

The most common form of state lotteries are scratch off cards and choosing a series of numbers. The New Jersey State Lottery holds both of these types of lotteries. Scratch-off cards give the player the opportunity to get their winnings immediately. The numbers lottery is held twice a week in New Jersey. Players choose a sequence of up to six numbers, and get a payout depending on how the numbers they chose correspond to the drawn numbers. However, although the lottery is a form of gambling, New Jersey does not allow lotteries to be conducted by machines. These machines can be anything that uses video, mechanical, or electrical technology to take a coin, token, or other form of payment, and gives an immediate payout if the player wins.

Lottery Sales Agents

Lottery sales agents cannot be in the business of only selling lottery tickets, in New Jersey. This is why it is common to purchase lottery tickets at gas stations, convenience stores, liquor stores, and newspaper stands. Lottery sales agents must also apply for a lottery sales license, and must be sufficiently financially stable and accessible to the public.

Proceeds and Purpose of the New Jersey State Lottery

New Jersey state lottery law indicates that the entirety of state lottery proceeds is to be used for state institutions, and state aid for education, which includes higher education and senior citizen education.

Transferring Winnings

New Jersey only allows state lottery winnings to be transferred by court order.

Time Limit for Claiming Prizes

In New Jersey, winners have one year to claim their lottery winnings. New Jersey has a time limit for claiming prizes because the state needs to know if it should reinvest that money or pay it out to a winner.

If you would like to know more about the law behind the New Jersey state lottery, there are many gaming lawyers throughout the state who may be able to help. In addition to informing you about gambling rules and regulations in New Jersey, they may also be able to help you get financial advice if you have recently won a large sum of money, or get help managing a gambling addiction.

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