florida lottery rules and regulations

Florida State Lotteries Laws

Created byВ FindLaw’s team of legal writers and editors | Last updated June 20, 2016

Gambling has a varied history throughout the United States. While it is legal under federal law, states have the option to further restrict or completely prohibit various forms of gambling. MostВ states have lotteries, which are games of chance that award cash prizes. Generally, state lotteries are used to raise revenue for a public benefactor (such as schools, community improvement, etc.).

In Florida, the state government runs the lottery, offering games such as: scratchers, Powerball, Mega Money, Lucky Lines, and Mega Millions. Lottery proceeds are intended to enhance public education through the construction of new schools and educational facilities. Florida’s lottery laws dictate that 50% of lottery revenue is to go to the payment of prizes, 39% to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund, and the remaining revenue to go to the administrative expenses associated with running the lottery. The lottery laws also regulate: whether lottery prizes may be garnished (to go towards delinquent taxes, child support payments, etc.), the time limits to claim prizes, and other prize-related issues.

The main provisions of Florida state lottery laws are listed in the table below.

Code Section

Distribution of Lottery Revenue

50% payment of prizes; 39% Educational Enhancement Trust Fund; remaining revenue to pay administrative expenses of lottery department

Additional Purpose of Lottery

To support improvements in public education and not as a substitute for educational funds

Lottery Prize Subject to Garnishment

On prizes over $600; offset by outstanding obligation to any state agency or owing child support through a court

Time Limit to Claim Prize/Disposition

180 days/added to “pool from which future prizes are awarded or for special prize promotions”

Prohibited Related Activities

Unlawful assignment/transfer; unauthorized sale as retailer; sale to minor; counterfeited/altered ticket; at greater price; extension offered to purchase ticket

Note:В State laws are constantly changing –В contact a Florida gaming law attorneyВ or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

More Information

For more information, check out Florida’s state lottery website or click on the links listed below to explore additional resources on Florida’s gambling laws. If you have legal questions regarding the lottery or gambling, in general, consider speaking with a Florida gaming attorney.

Related Resources for Florida Gambling Laws:

  • Official State CodesВ – Links to the official online statutes (laws) in all 50 states and DC.
  • Gaming Law
  • Florida Statutes
  • Florida Legal Research
  • Lottery Winnings and Divorce

Chart providing details of Florida State Lotteries Laws

Florida lottery rules and regulations

The Florida Lottery operates in a fair and secure manner. The integrity of all Lottery games is of utmost importance to us, and, as provided by Section 24.102(2) (d), Florida Statutes, the Lottery is, “accountable to the Legislature and the people of Florida through a system of audits and reports and thorough compliance with financial disclosure, open meetings, and public records laws”.

Fairness of Game Operations

The Florida Lottery’s very existence and mission is predicated on the public’s trust, confidence, and transparency in our operations and activities. Therefore, the Lottery continuously strives diligently in our work to ensure fairness in all of our game offerings.

One of our top priorities is safeguarding the integrity of our games and products. The Florida Lottery takes special measures to ensure randomness in all of our game offerings, following strict security guidelines and procedures. The publicized odds of winning for any game are reflective of a ratio of probabilities. Though they have useful mathematical properties, they cannot guarantee a winning ticket. Since all Lottery games are random, there is no specific pattern for winning Scratch-Off or Draw tickets. Each ticket sold has the same chance of being a winner. As with all lottery games, there are elements of chance involved with each ticket purchased. There is no guarantee that every ticket is a winner, and to make such a guarantee would nullify the very essence of lottery play. Every player has the same odds of purchasing a winning ticket.

Lottery Drawings

Florida Lottery drawings are conducted under strict security guidelines and procedures. A Lottery draw manager and an auditor from an independent auditing firm attend and participate in every drawing. These two individuals report to the draw studio at least 90 minutes prior to the actual drawing. The Lottery draw studio and draw equipment vault are located in the basement of the Lottery Headquarters building, which is a secure and limited access facility. This area is also under 24-hour video surveillance. The Lottery draw manager is employed by the Florida Lottery as a special agent and is a certified law enforcement officer. The draw manager and auditor complete a detailed checklist that thoroughly scrutinizes all aspects of each drawing. Currently, there are three draw machines and six ball sets available for each of the Lottery’s five Draw game drawings. The machine and ball set to be used for a particular drawing is selected at random just prior to the drawing. Ball sets are weighed before and after each drawing to ensure that there’s not been any tampering with the ball set and a series of pre-tests are also conducted to ensure the machines are working properly. All Florida Lottery drawings are open to the public.

Retailer Integrity Program

The Florida Lottery, Division of Security, in cooperation with the Lottery’s Office of Inspector General, has developed a Retailer Integrity program that involves Lottery staff visiting and testing Lottery retailers using winning Lottery tickets to ensure the retailers are properly paying prizes to players on winning Lottery tickets and are compliant with Lottery retailer rules and procedures. In these “sting” operations, retailers are selected for visits both at random and also based upon complaints from players. In rare occasions when tickets were not correctly processed for payment and an attempt was made to steal a player’s winnings, store personnel have been arrested and the retailers’ contracts have been suspended and/or terminated.

The Division of Security also investigates every complaint received from players in an effort to ensure the integrity and fairness of the operation of the Lottery and with players’ interactions with Lottery retailers. Any information regarding criminal activity that is discovered or received by the Division of Security is either acted upon the by the Division or forwarded to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

The Florida Lottery prides itself on maintaining the established reputation it has earned over the past 30 years. If a Lottery player, member of the media, or anyone in the general public witnesses any questionable practice performed by a Lottery employee, retailer or vendor we asked that they notify the Lottery’s Secretary’s Office, Security Division or Inspector General’s Office, as we take these allegations seriously and resolve to provide swift action when resolving any discrepancies.

© 2021 Florida Lottery, All Rights Reserved.
Must be 18 or older to play.
Play responsibly.

Florida lottery rules and regulations The Florida Lottery operates in a fair and secure manner. The integrity of all Lottery games is of utmost importance to us, and, as provided by Section