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South Carolina State Lotteries Laws

A majority of states have an official lottery with the stated goal of raising money for education or another defined purpose, although it's not always clear whether the revenue is earmarked for its stated purpose or added to the general fund. State lotteries are quite similar from one state to the next, usually consisting of "scratch-off" instant win tickets, games in which players choose a string of numbers for a random drawing, and multi-state lotteries with larger jackpots.

South Carolina Lottery Laws and Regulations

While South Carolina's constitution expressly gives lawmakers the authority to conduct an official state lottery, the rules and regulations are spelled out in the state code as the "South Carolina Education Lottery Act." The Act lays the groundwork for the creation of a lottery commission, which serves as the regulatory arm of the lottery, and establishes rules and regulations for lottery players. According to the law, 40 percent of proceeds are to be used for educational purposes only.

The main provisions of South Carolina's state lottery laws are listed in the following table:

Code Section SC Const. Art. 17, Sec. 7 gives legislature authority to conduct lotteries, 59-150-10 et seq.
Distribution of Lottery Revenue 45% prizes, 15% expenses, remainder in Education Lottery Account only appropriated for educational purposes and programs
Additional Purpose of Lottery -
Lottery Prize Subject to Garnishment For prizes over $500, subject to attachments, garnishments, or executions issued pursuant to law
Time Limit to Claim Prize/Disposition 180 days/reverts to Education Lottery Account
Prohibited Related Activities Sales to minors, altered/forged tickets

Note: State laws are always subject to change, usually through the passages of new legislation, voter approval of ballot initiatives, or appellate court rulings. You might want to contact a South Carolina gaming attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

A Brief History of the South Carolina State Lottery

South Carolina's lottery officially began in January 2002 as an initiative to raise revenue for education. The lottery has raised approximately $3.4 billion from 2002 to 2014, according to the South Carolina Lottery Commission. While 77 percent has gone to higher education, 21 percent was used for K-12 programs and 2 percent for other community education purposes.

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South Carolina State Lottery Law: Related Resources

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