What exactly happens when a minor wins the lottery? A minor winning the lottery has to be one of the most unfortunate gambling cases. The US has many state lotteries that may operate under slightly different laws or rules. But one of the overarching constants has to do with the legal gambling age. Most states don’t allow persons under the age of 18 to gamble. Persons 18 and over are permissible. Therefore, anyone under the age of 18 is considered a minor in this case.
The lottery in itself is a very simple and fun game to play. It’s a game based purely on luck and involves randomly (or strategically) selecting a set of lucky numbers from the options provided and hoping that your numbers appear on the day of the draw.
It’s not impossible for an underaged person to play a ticket while claiming to be older than they are. It’s even less impossible for minors to log into an adults casino account and play online. But that’s never an advisable thing to do. Lying about your age is a real criminal offense and you could get into a lot of trouble. Casinos are also given the responsibility of double-checking and verifying every player’s details by checking their ID.
Do Casinos Pay Out If A Minor Wins the Lottery?
Let’s imagine that a minor did somehow win a large sum of money, what happens next? Will the casino payout? What are the rules regarding this? We’ll there are a few ways how this could go down.
Firstly, the state, by statute, cannot pay out lottery winnings to a minor. It is illegal for lottery retailers or online casinos to sell to an underage player and it is a strong offense for a minor to lie about their age. The only acceptable reason why a minor might be in a position of a winning lottery ticket is if it was gifted to him/her. To be honest, lottery tickets are a pretty cheap gift and nobody gifting someone else a lotto ticket actually expects them to win. But, if it does win, what options does the minor have?
Alternative Payout Arrangements
Arrangements can be made for the money to go into a trust fund, or into the parent(s) and/or legal guardians account. If the money goes into a trust fund, the winner will only be able to access the money once he/she is of legal age to do so. If the money is given to the parents, they may use it as they see fit until the child becomes of age.
There are some states that allow (under reasonable circumstances) for children to be emancipated from their parents at an earlier stage. The parents of the underage child must sign the petition and the judge presiding over the matter must be able to see a good reason why the child can live independently from his/her parents. If you are under the age of 18, but financially stable and able to look after yourself without the help of your parents, then there’s a slight chance that the judge might rule in favor of you.
So, in conclusion, when a minor wins the lottery, they will not be able to claim the winnings if they lied about their age because that’s an offence. If the winning ticket was a gift, the parents or legal guardian of the minor might be able to claim the money on their behalf, but that’s also not 100% guaranteed.