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Missouri State Lottery Laws

General Overview of State Lotteries

Most states operate an official state lottery as a means of generating revenue. Lotteries offer players a very small chance of winning millions in exchange for a small wager, although most lotteries also have "scratch-off" games with smaller prizes and better odds. In any event, they don't require any particular skill and are made available throughout the respective state. Lotteries typically are created through legislation or ballot initiatives and involve a fair amount of regulation.

Most state lotteries are used to fund public education or other specific public needs, but sometimes revenue goes directly to the state's general fund. Some states participate in nationwide lotteries (such as Megamillions), which tend to have extremely high jackpots.

A Brief History of the Missouri State Lottery

The Missouri Lottery was approved in 1984 after voters passed Amendment 5 by a margin of 70 percent, thus repealing the state's constitutional ban on lotteries. The regulatory framework for the Missouri Lottery was created by state lawmakers, with the first lottery sales beginning in 1986.

Missouri State Lottery Laws at a Glance

As in many other states, lottery winnings may be garnished for payment of child support and other debts "pursuant to an appropriate judicial order." You must be 18 years old to play and lottery winners have 180 days to claim their prize. Missouri law requires the publication of the names and addresses of winners, pursuant to the Missouri Sunshine Law

The basic provisions of Missouri's lottery laws are listed below. See Missouri Consumer Tax Laws and Missouri Personal Income Tax Laws to learn more.

Code Section 313.200, et seq.
Distribution of Lottery Revenue Roughly 25 percent benefits Missouri public education programs; 65 percent goes back to the players as prizes; with the remaining proceeds going to administrative costs and commissions for retailers.
Additional Purpose of Lottery -
Lottery Prize Subject to Garnishment Only pursuant to an appropriate judicial order; set-offs for delinquent child support
Time Limit to Claim Prize/Disposition 180 days/revert to state lottery fund
Prohibited Related Activities Sale to minors; sale at greater price; forged/altered ticket; unauthorized sale

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

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Missouri State Lottery Laws: Related Resources

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