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Wisconsin State Lotteries Laws

We’ve all had the dream: one little ticket that could grant us millions and put us on easy street for the rest of our lives. It seems so easy, and the prize so close, we hardly think of throwing down a couple bucks for the chance at an early retirement. But where do our couple bucks go? And what state regulations are in place to make sure the games are fair and to guarantee payouts? This is a quick introduction to lotteries laws in Wisconsin.

Lotteries Laws

Most every state runs some kind of lottery, and each state’s lottery laws dictate how lotteries will be controlled and conducted. These lottery laws determine everything from how revenues will be distributed to the time limits for claiming prizes, as well as where, how, and to whom tickets can be sold. Most states will allocate the majority of their lottery revenue the state’s general fund, and where it is then earmarked for specific projects. Wisconsin, on the other hand designates about a third of its lottery revenue for property tax credits.

Lotteries Laws in Wisconsin

Wisconsin law determines where official lottery revenue is directed, by virtue of the Wisconsin Department of Revenue which has run the lottery since its inception in 1998. Games include Megabucks, Supercash! and Badger 5 in-state, and mutli-state games like Mega Millions and Powerball.

Total ticket sales in 2012-2013 reached $566.1 million, $329.2 million of which was paid back out in prize money. $155.9 million was directed to property tax credits, while remainder of the lottery income went towards retailer compensation, game development and production, product information, and expenses like staff salaries. Since 1988, the Wisconsin lottery has paid out $6.4 billion in prizes and $3.5 billion in property tax relief.

Code Section

565.01, et seq.; Wis. Const. Art. IV Sec. 24

Distribution of Lottery Revenue

Proceeds deposited into state treasury for property tax relief

Additional Purpose of Lottery

-

Lottery Prize Subject to Garnishment

Prizes over $1000 are subject to child support payments and spousal support

Time Limit to Claim Prize/Disposition

180 days/used for future prizes

Prohibited Related Activities

Forging ticket; sales to minors

Related Resources for State Lotteries Laws:

The laws surrounding state lotteries and where all the money goes can be difficult to decipher. You can visit FindLaw’s Gaming Law section for additional articles and resources on this topic. You can also contact a Wisconsin gaming law attorney if you would like legal assistance regarding a lottery matter.

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