The South Carolina Education Lottery (SCEL) offers several draw games and a variety of scratch-offs. The SCEL started in January 2002 and has generated $7.2 billion in lottery funding for schools since its inception. The lottery has created over 2.4 million scholarships for South Carolina students over that time.
Here are the taxes withheld by the South Carolina Lottery for all U.S. citizens or residents.
|$500 to $5,000||State Tax||7%|
|Over $5,000||State Tax||7%|
If the winner is not a citizen or resident of the U.S., the South Carolina Lottery withholds a different amount for taxes.
|$500 to $5,000||State Tax||7%|
|Over $5,000||State Tax||7%|
If you're wondering how to play the South Carolina Lottery, you can buy tickets at any licensed lottery retailer within the state. Many convenience and grocery stores are licensed lottery retailers.
No, you can't use checks, debit cards, or credit cards to purchase South Carolina Lottery tickets. You can only buy tickets with cash. The state doesn't charge sales tax on lottery tickets.
Yes, you can buy South Carolina Lottery tickets on Sunday. You can also purchase tickets in advance for consecutive draws for any of the state's lottery games.
No, you can only play the South Carolina Lottery by buying tickets at a retailer. While the draw games run online via a centralized computer system, tickets are only available when physically purchased from a licensed retailer.
Adults 18 and older can purchase and redeem lottery tickets. You don't have to be a South Carolina resident to play the state's lottery. If you live out of state, you can play the lottery, but you must purchase your tickets in South Carolina.
South Carolina state regulations don't allow public officials who take an oath of office to play the state's lottery. If a state employee takes an oath, they are exempt from playing the state lottery. Since notaries take an oath of office, they can't legally play nor win the South Carolina lottery.
The South Carolina Lottery offers six terminal-generated games. For these instant games, lottery players can choose numbers or allow a quick pick to generate lotto numbers randomly.
The draw games currently include the following six games:
Games may change over time, as the state sometimes introduces new games and retires others. The multi-state draw game Lucky for Life ended in South Carolina on Monday, June 28, 2021.
The state lottery also offers a variety of scratch-off tickets ranging in price from $1 to $10. Some scratch tickets offer a second-chance promotion. If a ticket provides a second-chance drawing, you can find instructions for entering on the back of the scratch-off.
Here are the time schedules for each lottery game:
Note that midday drawings aren't held on Sunday or Christmas Day.
A roll of lottery tickets usually has a standard price of $300. The number of tickets you get per roll varies since South Carolina scratch-off tickets range from $1 to $10 each.
Lottery prizes vary by game. The world's largest single-jackpot winner won $1.57 billion in the South Carolina Lottery on a Mega Millions ticket in 2019. The anonymous winner received over $877 million in a one-time cash payout. Other large jackpots include a $400 million Powerball winner and a $260 million prize.
Odds of winning South Carolina Lottery games vary by game and number of tickets purchased. You can find odds for each game displayed on the SCEL website.
You have 180 days after the ticket's draw date for the six terminal-generated lottery games to claim your winnings. You must claim your prize for scratch-off tickets within 90 days of the game's end. Official game end dates are posted on the SCEL website and at retail locations selling lottery tickets.
To claim a South Carolina Lottery prize up to $500, you can collect winnings at a licensed retailer, at the South Carolina Lottery Headquarters, or by mail. You can claim for winnings from $501 to $100,000 at the South Carolina Lottery Headquarters or by mail. You must declare any lottery prizes over $100,000 at the lottery headquarters.
The claim center is located at the South Carolina Lottery Headquarters, 1309 Assembly St., in Columbia.
To claim a lottery prize by mail, submit the signed winning ticket to:
S.C. Education Lottery
P.O. Box 11039
Columbia, SC 29211-1039
For prizes over $500, you must also include a completed SCEL claim form and a copy of a form of identification displaying a photo and a date of birth, such as a driver's license.
The South Carolina Lottery office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is closed on state holidays. The office phone number is 1-866-736-9819.
Yes, lottery prizes are subject to state and federal taxes. The South Carolina Education Lottery withholds taxes on all winnings over $500.
U.S. citizens and residents pay a 7% state tax on South Carolina lottery winnings from $500 to $5,000. For prizes over $5,000, you'll pay 7% in state tax plus 24% of federal tax. Non-citizens and non-residents pay 7% of state taxes for lottery winning numbers and prizes but must pay a 30% federal tax on lottery winnings greater than $5,000.
While many states don't allow lottery winners to remain anonymous, South Carolina can retain their anonymity if desired. Other states that allow winners to remain anonymous include Texas, Maryland, and Delaware.
The lottery ticket sales proceeds fund a variety of educational programs and job training. The funds support South Carolina's educational assistance programs including the LIFE, HOPE, and Palmetto Fellows scholarships. In the lottery's 21st fiscal year, the lottery generated over $528 million for higher education opportunities including scholarships, grants, tuition assistance, and the National Guard Loan Repayment Program. That year also saw the lottery fund over $67 million for K-12 programs including the Technology Initiative and the Educational Accountability Act.
Students enrolled in at least six credit hours are eligible to apply for South Carolina Lottery Tuition Assistance (SCLTA). If you meet all eligibility requirements, you can apply for SCLTA by submitting a FAFSA or a Lottery Tuition Waiver. Contact the financial aid office of your educational institution for further help with applying for lottery tuition assistance. If you have any additional questions about the South Carolina Lottery, reach out to Lottery Current.
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