Applying for a retailer license involves a one-time $35 fee. There is no charge for yearly renewals. Retailers must also maintain an electronic funds transfer (EFT) bank account. Use of other equipment and training is provided free of charge, including ticket dispensers, ticket-printing terminal and supplies, customer play center, shipping charges and sales materials. Also, retailers are assessed a weekly $20 fee to cover communication costs.
Since the sale of Lottery tickets is considered a government service, retailers are required to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Any costs for store modifications necessary for compliance are the responsibility of the retailer.
The Lottery licenses retailers to sell all of its products, including draw-style and scratch-off game tickets. In selecting retailers for licensure, the Louisiana Lottery Corporation considers the retailers' financial responsibility, integrity, reputation, accessibility of the place of business or activity, security of the premises, whether sufficient retailers already exist to serve public convenience, and the projected sales volume. Because of the considerable investment of equipment and sales support the Lottery makes for retailers, potential retailers are scrutinized to ensure an adequate return on this investment in making the decision to grant or renew a license.
The following conditions prevent an individual or business from obtaining or renewing a Louisiana Lottery retailer license:
Not being current in filings and payment of all taxes, interest and penalties owed to any political subdivision, including as the Department of Labor, Department of Revenue and Taxation and the Secretary of State.
Being convicted of any illegal gambling activity, false statements, false swearing or perjury or a crime punishable by more than 1 year imprisonment or a fine of more than $1,000 or both.
Being a vendor or employee of the corporation or residing on the same household as an officer of the corporation.
Knowingly having made a false statement of material fact to the corporation.
Not being in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Retailers are assigned a customer service representative who will assist them in developing a sales plan and goals, using proven sales techniques and area demographics. At the very minimum, retailers must maintain four scratch-off games on sale at all times and place an order for scratch-offs at least every 60 days. However, due to the considerable expense in servicing retailers, the Lottery evaluates retailers' sales volume for return on investment and reserves the right to cancel, suspend, revoke or terminate retailer licenses for the insufficient sale of tickets.
Retailers are assigned a customer service representative who will help them determine the optimal product mix for the retailer to maximize revenue for the games it is licensed to sell based on the demographics of the stores' customer base and traffic. Administrative law prevents retailers from selling tickets at a price other than what is established by the corporation, nor may retailers charge a surcharge to cash winning tickets.
Lottery tickets can be purchased 24 hours a day, seven days a week, subject to the retailer's business hours of operation. On the night of a drawing, the system takes a draw break for the games that will be drawn that evening. During a game draw break, tickets for those games cannot be purchased. For Powerball and Mega Millions, the draw break lasts from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the date of the drawing. For all other draw-style games, such as Pick 3, Pick 4, Easy 5 and Lotto, the draw break starts at 9:30 and last only a few minutes. Again, draw breaks only occur on the night of the drawing. Any tickets purchased after the draw break are good for the next regularly scheduled drawing.
Currently, 44 lotteries participate in Powerball, including Louisiana. The others are Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin and the Virgin Islands.
Administrative regulations do not prohibit the use of credit cards to purchase Lottery products. Even though regulations allow credit cards to be used to purchase Lottery tickets, retailers can decide what form of payment they will accept and some do not accept credit cards to buy Lottery tickets. Regulations do prevent retailers from extending individual store credit for the purchase of Lottery tickets.
No. Tickets winning a "FREE TICKET" may be redeemed only at a participating Lottery retail location and may be redeemed for a FREE instant ticket of equivalent sales price from any current active instant game, within the claim period for that game.
The Lottery doesn't publicize every winner, so it's very likely there are winners in your area that you haven't heard about. When prizes are claimed at retailers, the Lottery does not know individuals' names. Also, some people who claim prizes at a Lottery office simply do not want any publicity and we respect their wishes when we can. When granted permission, the Lottery will post winners' pictures and stories on the "Meet our Winners" section of our Web site.
Winning tickets in the Lottery's scratch-off games are randomly distributed. For security reasons, the Lottery doesn't know where winning tickets are until they are claimed. Drawings for the Lottery's draw-style games are also random events. Again, we don't know where the winning tickets were sold until after the drawing.
Because of the random nature of winning numbers and distribution of winning scratch-offs, statistics dictate that the greater the sales in one area, the greater the likelihood of having winners in that area.
As it turns out, that's exactly the case. As the chart below demonstrates, 70 percent of Lottery sales come from south Louisiana, which is why that region collectively also has a larger percentage of winners.
Percentage of Sales as of June 30, 2011
New Orleans region
Baton Rouge region
The same statistical reality also exists for Powerball jackpots. Powerball sales in Louisiana account for roughly 3 percent of total Powerball sales from all participating lotteries. Although every individual ticket has an equal chance of winning the jackpot, collectively, states with higher sales have a higher percentage of jackpot winning tickets. Since joining Powerball in 1995, Louisiana has had 14 jackpot winners for an average of about 1 a year.
Signing the back of your Lottery tickets discourages theft and helps identify the owner of the ticket. The Louisiana Lottery strongly encourages players to sign the back of their tickets as soon as possible after purchasing them and before claiming a prize at a retail location. Even if you are unsure whether the ticket has won a prize, it is still important to sign the back of it for security purposes prior to having the ticket scanned or validated at a retail location. Any alteration to a signature on the back of a winning ticket worth more than $600 prompts a security investigation.
The Louisiana Lottery advises players to learn about how a game is played, the various winning combinations for the game and the odds of winning prior to playing. This website contains instructions, prize charts and odds of all the games the Lottery offers.
For instructions on playing scratch-off games, visit this page "How to Play Scratch-Offs" and click on the game you are interested in playing.
If you believe you have won a prize of $600 or less you can redeem that at participating Lottery retailers. When presenting a ticket at a Lottery retailer, a discreet screen called the Customer Display Unit will indicate whether the ticket is a winner and if so, its value. You may also request a printed Validation Receipt containing this information.
If you are told your ticket isn't a winner, you may request the return of the ticket. To report a problem or a concern with cashing a winning ticket at a retail location, please e-mail us firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lottery players are encouraged to double check their tickets prior to leaving the store for any discrepancies or inaccuracies. Players are NOT required to purchase a misprinted ticket they do not want, provided they alert the retailer prior to leaving the store. Refunds cannot be issued for scratch-off tickets that have already been scratched or for draw-style game tickets in which the drawing has already occurred. To report a problem or a concern with purchasing a Lottery ticket, please e-mail us at email@example.com.
Currently, 44 lotteries participate in Mega Millions, including Louisiana. The others are Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin and the Virgin Islands.
The prize on a winning Lottery ticket may be split among a group of ticket owners; however, only one prize check for the entire prize amount is issued per winning ticket. During the process of claiming a prize, the Lottery issues a single payment for the entire prize amount to either one person or legal entity (trust, corporation, etc.). The check recipient is responsible for distributing the winnings to the group members if winnings are to be shared or divided. The check recipient may also choose to complete a Federal Form 5754 that ensures the tax obligation of the prize is distributed among the group members according to the gross prize amount of each person’s share. The Federal Form 5754 allows the Lottery to send a separate W2-G tax form to each individual winner noting the amount won and withheld on their behalf.
In order to do this, each member of the group must provide their Social Security card when the prize is claimed. The check recipient must also provide picture identification. If the prize is to be issued to anyone other than the owner of the ticket, the owner must complete a document acknowledging that they will not receive payment from the Lottery for the prize.
It is not necessary for a group of people to form a legal entity to claim most prizes. However, for a jackpot prize paid in annual installments to a group of individuals, the Lottery asks that the winners form a legal entity with an assigned tax identification number. This simplifies the tax reporting and prize distribution for a group of people receiving payments over an extended time.
When claiming a prize as a legal entity, the legal document organizing the entity must list the name of each member of the group, their city of residence, and the portion of the prize each person will receive. Each member of the group must also provide their Social Security card. As with all claims, the names of those receiving prize funds and their city of residence is public record.
The Lottery encourages all players to seek financial advice before claiming a large jackpot prize.