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Tennessee bill advances to remove lottery winners from government assistance

Feb 28, 2017, 3:52 pm

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Tennessee LotteryTennessee Lottery: Tennessee bill advances to remove lottery winners from government assistanceRating:

The Tennessee House on Monday passed a bill despite opposition from Democrats that, if it becomes law, would require the names of lottery winners to be cross checked with federal and state government assistance programs.

Sponsored by Rep. Dan Howell, R-Georgetown, passed by a 73-21 near party-line vote on Monday night.

The bill would make any lottery winner of prizes more than $5,000 ineligible for government assistance. Howell said federal law, which has a lower prize threshold, requires winners to self-report. Howell said state finance officials found more than 2,700 cases of fraud in the 2015-16 fiscal year, and contributed to $186 million in lost state funding.

Not all the cases were related to fraud, he said, but the bill would help identify some of that loss.

House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley, questioned what would happen if a winning ticket was a gift, or if the legislature was taking a broad anti-lottery position by passing the legislation.

Rep. William Lamberth, R-Cottontown, said people who receive government assistance shouldn't be playing the lottery anyway.

"If you're on government assistance, I would hope as a policy that all of us in this chamber would agree that you should not be wasting your money that should be used for food for your children and medical expenses and everything else on something as silly and ridiculous as the lottery," Lamberth said.

The measure now moves to the Senate for approval, and if passed, then to Gov. Bill Haslam for final passage.

USA Today, Lottery Post Staff

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12 comments. Last comment 4 years ago by Slick Nick.
Page 1 of 1
hearsetrax's avatar - alien on_computer.jpg

United States
Member #52343
May 21, 2007
3344 Posts


    TheGameGrl's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
    A long and winding road
    United States
    Member #17083
    June 10, 2005
    6541 Posts

    Bout time Tennessee catches up to cross checking verifications. Currenly most states check for past dues on alimony,child support, warrants and liens. 

    Poor folks ...Discriminated...By sheer economy and luck...

    I feel for the shut ins ....

    Count your smiles.

      smooth11484's avatar - Lottery-053.jpg
      United States
      Member #125194
      March 26, 2012
      2024 Posts

      where would that 186 mill go?


        Raven62's avatar - binary
        New Jersey
        United States
        Member #17842
        June 28, 2005
        139965 Posts

        Why is it that Money and Fraud seem to go Together?

        Could it be Dishonesty!

        A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

        Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

        Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

          Groppo's avatar - cat anm.gif

          United States
          Member #162626
          January 7, 2015
          780 Posts



          Yeah, Hmmph




          • Don't chase the numbers you play.
          • Play only numbers you've already played, plus however many random picks.
          • But, ALWAYS the regular numbers you play.  This will make you a winner, not a chaser.
                     (so far, though, I've yet to win any significant lotto prize)
          • Oh, but always know where your tickets are, as well as your ticket's deadline.
            Chasing $ Millions.
            White Shores- California
            United States
            Member #136473
            December 12, 2012
            6532 Posts

            Do these politicians envision $5,000 taking care of an individual for say : 2-5 years...Longer?

             * Voice of Reason *   


            People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

              United States
              Member #163184
              January 22, 2015
              2445 Posts


              Yeah, Hmmph




              As many of us know, and many folks on assistance do that win is give the ticket to someone else to collect, pay the taxes for a stipend and the original owner gets the biggest chunk.  Met two folks in KY over the years and that is what they did, though the amounts were just several thousand dollars. 

              With that said, could you imagine entrusting someone with a multi-million ticket?  It would be like see you later alligator, what ticket?

                New York, NY
                United States
                Member #140630
                March 23, 2013
                10851 Posts

                "as silly and ridiculous as the lottery.." very judgemental statement from a politician considering that each state rakes in millions or billions even of dollars from the lottery each year and those funds help out with governmental or state run programs as well. 

                Just play .50 box, you'll be fine!

                Sometimes you do the right thing just because it’s right.

                  zephbe's avatar - animal butterfly.jpg
                  South Carolina
                  United States
                  Member #77165
                  July 15, 2009
                  897 Posts

                  'With that said, could you imagine entrusting someone with a multi-million ticket?  It would be like see you later alligator, what ticket?'

                  Seems like a multi-million dollar win would be enough for a person to get off assistance.  They should claim the win themselves.

                  SC handles win of $5,000 or more as follows:

                  DEBT SETOFF
                  Pursuant to Section 59-150-330(F) of the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, prizes of $5,000 or more trigger a "debt set off" search for any debt owed to the State or "any state or local agency, department, board, bureau, commission, or authority. " [Section 59-150-330(B) (1) ] "Debt set off" means the money a winner owes may be deducted from their lottery winnings.
                  Pursuant to Section 59-150-330(D) (3) , winnings are withheld when a lien or debt exists against the winner of the following types:" (3) The liens created by this section rank among themselves as follows:
                  taxes due the State;
                  delinquent child support;
                  delinquent student loans; and
                  all other judgments and liens in order of the date entered or perfected. "
                  Depending on the circumstances of the debt, the "other judgments or liens" could include medical bills.

                  When a winner claims winnings of $5,000 or more though the mail and debt or liens are found and withheld, the winner will be notified by mail; if a winner claims winnings of $5,000 or more in person, the winner will be notified at the time the winnings are claimed that winnings are being withheld to offset a debt or lien.

                  The debtor has thirty (30) days to protest in writing the withholding of the funds. If the debtor does not protest within thirty (30) days, the Lottery Commission will pay the funds over to the claimant agency. If the debtor protests the withholding of funds, in writing, within thirty days of the notice, the commission shall file an action in interpleader in the circuit court of the county in which the debtor resides, pay the disputed sum to the court, and give notice to the agency owed the debt and the winner owing the debt of the legal action.

                  Every champion was once a contender who refused to give up.-Rocky Balboa

                  “Don’t let someone who gave up on their dreams talk you out of going after yours.” – Zig Ziglar

                    patricks6's avatar - Lottery-035.jpg
                    springfield tn
                    United States
                    Member #87914
                    March 6, 2010
                    318 Posts

                    There cousin will get the money n there name

                      KY Floyd's avatar - lysol avatar.jpg
                      United States
                      Member #23834
                      October 16, 2005
                      4344 Posts

                      He didn't say that it was silly for the state to offer a lottery. He said that it's silly for somebody who doesn't have enough to live on to play the lottery.

                        Slick Nick's avatar - RYc5Gcw
                        United States
                        Member #103278
                        January 1, 2011
                        952 Posts

                        A case point I'd like to make is this: If the money they receive from the government was used to buy the ticket, it's our money we pay to support these people. Then they should be grounded from further assistance.

                        Money is a terrible master, but a great servant...Smile