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North Carolina State Lotteries Laws

We see the tickets all the time when we stop for gas or a snack at the gas station and wonder how our lives would change if we won the lotto. We imagine the things we would do with millions of dollars, or even just a few hundred dollars more. So maybe we snag a scratch-off ticket just for fun. Where does all the money from lotto ticket sales go, and what are the laws regulating your future winnings? Here’s a quick summary of state lotteries laws in North Carolina.

Lottery Laws

State lotteries are state-run games of chance that often include both scratch-off tickets and drawings, typically for cash prizes. North Carolina state lottery laws specifically earmark 28 percent of all lottery revenues for state education initiatives, primarily kindergarten through third grade, with more than half of the revenue going to prizes. Additionally, lottery winnings in North Carolina are subject to garnishment for payment of past due child support.

State Lotteries Laws in North Carolina

Lottery laws may vary from state to state. Learn about North Carolina's state lottery laws in the following chart.

Code Section

North Carolina State Lottery Act §18C-101, et seq.

Distribution of Lottery Revenue

Prizes: 61%, state education initiatives: 28%, retailer commissions and incentives: 7%, administrative expenses: 4%

Additional Purpose of Lottery


Lottery Prize Subject to Garnishment

Yes (child support)

Time Limit to Claim Prize/Disposition

Scratch-off tickets: 90 days; draw game tickets: 180 days.

Prohibited Related Activities

Sale to minors; resale of tickets

With forty states permit implementing state lotteries, they have become as common as any other state government activity. The stated purpose, in nearly every state, is to raise revenue. North Carolina, like many other states, puts most of its lottery revenue towards state educational initiatives. That being said, there remains wide diversity in how the money raised is distributed: about thirteen states distribute profit to the general fund, or a fund for economic development such as highway construction or in support of stadium authorities, and few states have designated lottery revenues to fund various general environmental activities.

North Carolina State Lottery Laws: Related Resources

State laws are constantly changing, and they can be complicated when it comes to government-run gaming and revenue enterprises. If you would like legal assistance with a lottery case, you can contact a North Carolina gaming attorney in your area. You can also continue your own legal research by visiting FindLaw’s Gaming Law section.

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