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Tennessee State Lotteries Laws

We’ve all had that dream of buying one little ticket that could win us millions of dollars, paying our bills and putting us on the road to an early retirement. It’s so simple right? We throw down a couple bucks for the chance at millions without even thinking of where our couple bucks go. So what are the state regulations allocating the lottery revenue, making sure the games are fair, and guaranteeing payouts? This is a brief summary of lottery laws in Tennessee.

Lotteries Laws

Each state has its own lottery laws dictating how the games will be played and regulated. Lottery laws can determine where, how, and to whom tickets can be sold, the time limits for claiming prizes, as well as how revenues will be distributed. Many states will allocate the majority of their lottery profits to either education programs or the state’s general fund, where it is then earmarked for specific projects.

Lotteries Laws in Tennessee

Until 2003, the Tennessee Constitution outlawed a state lottery. The Constitution was amended to allow for a lottery implemented by the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation with all net proceeds from the lottery allocated to state K-12 educational projects and early learning programs. The Tennessee lottery offers interstate games like Powerball and Mega Millions, as well as state-specific games Cash 3, Cash 4, and Tennessee Cash. While some states earmark lottery income to a general fund, the majority of Tennessee’s lottery revenue goes to fund scholarships and grants for Tennessee students attending state public and private schools.

Code Section

Amended Art. XI, §5 Tennessee Constitution

Distribution of Lottery Revenue

Financial assistance to citizens of this state to enable such citizens to attend post-secondary educational institutions located within this state.


Additional Purpose of Lottery

(1) Capital outlay projects for K-12 educational facilities; and

(2) Early learning programs and after school programs.

Lottery Prize Subject to Garnishment


Time Limit to Claim Prize/Disposition

90 days from announced end of game

Prohibited Related Activities

Games of chance associated with casinos, including, but not limited to, slot machines, roulette wheels, and the like.

Related Resources for State Lotteries Laws:

Trying to interpret the laws surrounding state lotteries and where all the money goes can be particularly challenging. For more information and resources on this topic, you can visit FindLaw’s Gaming Law section. You can also contact a Tennessee gaming law attorney if you would like legal assistance regarding a state lottery matter.

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