State laws govern how lottery games are operated, including rules on the distribution of revenue; time limits for claiming prizes; activities considered illegal (like selling tickets to minors); and how winners are determined. You can find specific laws in the Statutes, Session Laws, and Rules databases.
Lotteries are a fixture in American life, with people spending upward of $100 billion on tickets in 2021 alone. Many states promote them as ways to raise money for schools, roads, and other public works. But just how meaningful that revenue is to overall state budgets – and the trade-offs it requires – remains debatable.
There’s a part of human psychology that draws us to the chance of winning big. But there’s a lot more that goes into it than that. The big one is that lotteries are dangling instant riches in an age of inequality and limited social mobility. It’s an enticing offer and it’s not hard to see why so many people want to play.
But if you’re planning to buy a ticket, you should know this. In most states, you’ll be required to give up some level of personal information to the lottery when you win. Some will allow you to retain a degree of anonymity, while others require you to reveal more details about your identity. Here are some of the wildest lottery winner disclosure laws across America.