Tennessee may cap lottery winnings at $600 for poor

RJOh's avatar - chipmunk

"The bill's sponsor, Rep. Stacey Campfield (Knoxville), said that if someone can't afford the basic necessities and is receiving public assistance such as food stamps, then they shouldn't be spending their money on gambling."

What a crock!  It's alright for them to spend a dollar on a pick3 game that pays $50-$500 but get penalized it they play and win a game that pays big money.   

Ohio once had a law to limit what people could win playing lotteries but it was for everybody, no one lottery ticket could win over $20M regardless of the jackpot size.  People stop playing locally and went out of state to play.  After a year they got rid of that law but sales never rebounded until they added MegaMillions.

HaveABall's avatar - rocket

Hum, I can understand the State's position in a way.  The state is attempting fiduciary duty towards their multi-county's tax payer's monies received and allocated towards welfare recepients (as far as I know, any may receive, even prior non tax paying non-citizens) -- only wanting their county's tax payer monies to go to their monetarily wounded residents if they are going to spend it on NEED items such as: supermarket groceries, gas, suit for higher paying job interviews, and utility bills -- not chance tickets.

However, I think the law should be modified to indicate that if the "tax payer assisted" ticket owner wins over $20,000 gross, IN ANY U.S.A. LOTTERY, within a calendar year, that the county will first withdraw amount of any taxpayer assistance monies or subsidies received up until the point of receiving the net monies won.  It would be easy for any county to work with any single or multi state lottery company's billing department to ensure that local county get paid first (just as the ticket purchased in State and our Federal Government).

ThatScaryChick's avatar - giphy11resized

I don't think the government/state should be telling people what they can spend their money on. I understand why they want to do it, but really, the whole thing seems like a slippery slope to me.

wiseone2's avatar - moon

Really doesn't make much sense.  People play the lottery in hopes of winning enough money to pay bills, have better quality of life....get off of welfare, etc.  They should be happy if the recipients win enough to get off goverment assistance.   Also, if they lose, which is more likely, then they in all actuality are giving the money back to the government.  So the government wins either way.   Why only let those who have money already, win?  Bottom line is....if you have a state lottery, it should be open to ALL who pay to play.  And if you pay to play, you should also be able to win!

Rocket 455's avatar - rocket

 Meanwhile, recently in the Tennesseean, this story; "

Nashville banks' execs get millions

Bailout loopholes allow some bonuses, 'golden parachutes'"

 Trillions of dollars tossed to a group of elites who destroyed the economy in the biggest ponzi scheme rip off of tax payers in history, and we discuss what a bank teller should spend his or her money on because they can't make enough money to get by without food stamps.

 Incredible... Beam me up Scotty...

bashley572's avatar - starwars14
In response to Rocket 455

That is the best example of what is wrong with the US right now.  I have no problem with someone getting ahead and making a profit. But when your company takes OUR tax dollars to pay YOUR paycheck vs. closing its doors and there is NO paycheck.  Then you should HAVE to answer to the taxpayer.

Government needs OUT of private companies, history will show this last year was a mistake to bail all of them out.

mjwinsmith's avatar - moon
In response to HaveABall

I am somewhat on the same page as you, let them play the lottery, if they win any amount over $600.00 the law should be that they pay back any and all monies recieved from the state, then the rest is theirs.

The freak'n government is already stopping hard working Americans who want to play on-line lottery games, what's up with that, it's OUR money we worked for it we should be able to spend it any which way we want.

Oh, but it's ok to bail out the jerks on Wall street and the Bankers making gobs of money off of us in high rates of interest. Americans better wake up to what's going on.


Raven62's avatar - binary

New Jersey Administrative Code
Title 17, Chapter 42
Lottery Prize Offset For Child Support And
Public Assistance Payments

In cases of multiple or conflicting claims, the priority for apportionment is as follows:

1. Federal Income tax withholding, as required by N.J.A.C. 17:42-1.4;
2. Child support arrearages, as required by N.J.S.A. 5:9-13.2 to 13.6;
3. Federal and State student loan defaults as required by N.J.S.A. 5:9-13.10 to 13.16; and
4. Over payments for Work First New Jersey benefits, which include General Assistance and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), food stamp benefits and low-income home energy assistance (LIHEAP), as required by N.J.S.A. 5:9-13.2 to 13.6

New York:
Will Child Support and Public Assistance be withheld from my prize?

If you are identified by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) as owing past due child support and/or having received public assistance in the last 10 years, the Lottery is required by Section 1613-a(4) of the New York State tax law to withhold money from your Lottery prize(s) of $600 or more.

konane's avatar - wallace
In response to HaveABall

Great point TigerAngel, the state should be paid back in the event of a large win.  Think some states are doing that with delinquent child support, also prisoners repaying cost of incarceration. 

However the underground economy is about 100 steps ahead any legislative posturing to pay back taxpayers. This proposal is a day late, dollar short, should have thought of it same time lottery was ratified by voters.


 Don't forget that Fed & state will tax anything over $600. in the first place, I call this double dipping. On the big lotto's if you take A pay out the tax people get half of whatever winings you recieve.If you string it along for the full payout they still get a 3rd plus of what you get ! The Fed's and States will still get A large lump of your change. This bill would let these rich folks have the upper hand in any situation !!!

OldSchoolPa's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
In response to HaveABall

I Agree! with fact, I'll take the Powerball plus 5 matching numbers tonight Alex for $100! (If you're not a fan of Tyler Perry's movies, you won't get it LOL )

Thinking objectively about this, it makes total sense what this congressman is proposing.  But in another view, I find it somewhat "Unamerican, and somewhat downright socialist, to cap the profit potential in our free enterprise system (yes that is occurring, but then again right now those companies subject to earnings caps are LOSING money...once they right the ship and pay back the government...let the good times continue to roll for those CEOs...though I do feel that they are jumping ship with many people's 401ks in tow as their job is to lead their respective companies to profitability...those who do the opposite should take the honorable stance that any ship captain or military general (back in the old days) would do and that is go down seems they do the opposite now...they bail out with a load of loot and watch the doomed suckers in the plane that just ran out of fuel and no other parachutes go down in flames while they either see another day or run off to play golf and travel the world in first class style!)  Yeah I know that was one hell of a Rant

But getting back on point... a more American way would be to require those winning over $20,000 (as HaveABall stated) to pay back any assistance they received.  In this way, a person winning such a windfall would not just view it as a time to go out and blow it (though many still will).  Instead, now that person could use part of it to put themselves through an accredited degree program in order to land a better paying job.  Or to relocate to somewhere where jobs are available in their current skill and occupation. Or start up a small business they had outlined would take, say $5,000 to start.  All of those things would likely lead to that person permanently removing themselves from taxpayer assisted programs.  But to cap their winnings at $600 when they may have had the winning ticket for a state lottery or, God forbid, the Powerball would guarantee that person would REMAIN on taxpayer assisted programs for many years to come.  Not a smart move in my opinion.  Sure I know that not everyone will do any of the three things I mentioned above, but then again, even those well educated make mistakes too!

Comeon Powerball...I am not receiving gubment handouts so let me win Powerball TONIGHT!  TO-NIGHT everything's gonna be AL-RIGHT!  This is my chance to...POWERBALL!


I think that should be in every state.  A great bill that would be.

beaudad's avatar - animaniacs26

A few years ago there was a story......I think it was on 20/20 about a man who was on public assistance and he had won a powerball.......I don't remember what happened on that story.....I think he said that he got the tickets from  money picking up cans............anyway I think that the legislators should "heal themselves" before getting in others back yards........It's just another reason to move out of the state of Tenn.........(Only in America)


"said that if someone can't afford the basic necessities and is receiving public assistance such as food stamps, then they shouldn't be spending their money on gambling."

My gosh the lottery only costs 1 dollar...If you are talking about scratchoffs that cost 30 dollars or 10 dollars on a consistent basis then i see the point, but Powerball only costs 1 dollar...

Last6Show page 4Page 5 of 6
DoctorEw220's avatar - alien helmet.jpg

You know what's funny about this.  A lot of people call the lottery a tax on the poor.  This bill will never pass.  It will be too costly for the lottery.  You cannot deny someone something that it rightfully theirs just because they get help from the government.  I can understand if the state wants to take away or limit someone's assistance because of a big win, but that's cheating people out of a chance at a big prize just because they need help.  It's just as bad as when the lotteries were selling instant tickets after the top prizes were claimed.

awwcrap's avatar - moon

George Orwell-1984.  We got alot of control freaks in our  govt

TnTicketlosers's avatar - Lottery-065.jpg

Where the crooks are is in the Tennessee Lottery office.When they stop her from stealing from the people you wont have a problem.....Now come back and bash me I'm ready....

cwygirltx's avatar - Lottery-009.jpg

I think Tennesse is trying to become communist!!!  Taking away the freedom we fought and died for.  That is freedom of choice!!  What is the problem with them!!  Greed is Bad.  And taking away the rights of others is aginst the constatution!!!


Sounds like anything where you'd have to FILE CLAIM is what would be not allowed. Many people play multiple times the same number that if it wins, they would not have to claim, but would win in total more than $600. I have even had agents chide me for playing STR&BOX on one line because I'd have to also claim the BOX. The people are still going to spend but on multiple Pick-3's, and if they do buy a ticket for a big jackpot and win, will probably have a family member claim it in exchange for a sizable share. I wonder what happens then, does the person who gave them over $600 of THEIR winnings to someone on welfare, get in trouble themselves, if Big Bro suspected they tried to skirt the law? I don't see this passing. Anyone can propose anything.


I think this is just crazy.  I hope it doesn't pass.

From jackpot prizes, Louisiana deducts any child support owed, which is a good thing I think.

bashley572's avatar - starwars14
In response to JAP69

NY does the following (NY Web site)

Will Child Support and Public Assistance be withheld from my prize?
If you are identified by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) as owing past due child support and/or having received public assistance in the last 10 years, the Lottery is required by Section 1613-a(4) of the New York State tax law to withhold money from your Lottery prize(s) of $600 or more.

mjwinsmith's avatar - moon
In response to Rocket 455

You got that right!

savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho

land of the free , home of the ... crushed under boots. i take it smokes, drugs and alcohol are all still fine then?

savagegoose's avatar - ProfilePho

every lotto player in TN should boycott the tickets until they come to their senses a few weeks of no lotto sales of any kind and the state will be needing man nappies.


What a shame, If you are a working american and lose your job and have a 401k the government take majority of that money this is the money that you have to live off of until you find a job, you have no fed or state assistance. To take away the winnings from people that receive food stamps is shameful and this make me very upset. I don't receive food stamps. Just think the state is just giving you $200 worth of food stamps and you have a home to pay for,utilities,clothes etc. And if you have more than one child. Just think. THIS GUY MOST LIKELY WAS BORN WITH A SILVER SPOON IN HIS MOUTH WITH IS A BLESSING FOR HIM. MOST OF US WAS NOT WE WORKED FOR A LIVING. WHAT A SHAME HE CAN'T THINK OF A BETTER LAW TO HELP EVERY ONE.

foragoodcause's avatar - Lottery-021.jpg

Someone i knew told me she had a friend on welfare who won a lot of money playing numbers.

In response to numberchaser

I Agree!You are so right , that what i am talking about American people with heart not afraid to speak up when and where it's needed. Good for you. may God bless you hopfully you might be a winner one dayPartyPeace -out!!!!

bashley572's avatar - starwars14
In response to foragoodcause

ok, are they STILL on welfare?? or did they win enough they dont need to/want to be on any more?

LANTERN's avatar - kilroy 28_173_reasonably_small.jpg

THey are wrong, if they can buy tickets then they can win whatever the prize might be, if they are not allowed to buy tickets then they can't win anything of course, unless somebody buys the ticket for them, then maybe they could share the money.

But they don't ID people who buy lottery tickets.

If they are "FREE" to buy, then they should also be "Free" to fully win.

If they don't want those people to buy tickets with that money, then don't give them money, just food stamps, "Rent Stamps" and or "Money Stamps" that can be used for paying for things such as foods, clothing (Shoes also), paying for rent, telephone, electric, gas and water bills, medicines and things of that nature, not for buying lottery tickets, jewelery, cars and other things, that are not basic needs.

So a "Money Card" that has so much credit on it for (Only) food and so much credit for other basic things as stated above, but that it, does not allow people to get "Cash" (Real Money), there should be a public list of items that the card can be used for.


But as I said, anybody who has a winning ticket on his person (and is alive) should be allowed to get the full prize, unless that person is younger than 16 yrs old or in jail.


Out of topic, but while a "National ID" or even "Body Chip" (inside the body somewhere) seems like a good thing, it also reminds me of "666", national ID, OK, but MIcroChip or such inside the body, that is a No No!

Welcome Guest

Your last visit: Sat, Jul 2, 2022, 12:22 pm

Log In

Log InCancel

Forgot your username?

Forgot your password?