- We look to reliable local sources such as The Birmingham News and the The Montgomery Advertiser to keep up with the latest news updates in the industry.
- We don’t stop at State Lotteries. Our dedicated team has a wealth of invaluable gambling industry expertise, including for casino games like slots and have produced an online video poker guide.
- We are following all updates to gambling laws as and when they appear by monitoring The Alabama Legislature and Poarch Creek Indians Tribal Gaming Commission who run Alabama’s only.
- The Birmingham News
- The Montgomery Advertiser
- The Alabama Legislature
- Poarch Creek Indians Tribal Gaming Commission
Are There Legal Online Lotteries Available in Alabama?
There is currently no state lottery in Alabama. It is prohibited in the constitution and is subject to staunch religious opposition. Nevertheless, there are many in Alabama who believe that the state could benefit from its own lottery. State lotteries are popular in almost every other US state and provide invaluable financial contributions. Hopes were high in April, when a bill legalizing a state lottery was put through its paces. Unfortunately, it fell at the last hurdle and died in session. This is disappointing for many, especially when massive jackpots hit the headlines. Residents who live close to neighboring states Tennessee, Georgia and Florida are known to hop over the border to grab their chance at a miracle win.
Alabama does not have its own online lottery yet. Luckily, these multi-state lotteries are close to the border and hugely popular with Alabama residents. If Alabama does choose to follow in Mississippi’s footsteps in approving a state lottery, you could see these multi-state lotteries popping up in the Yellowhammer State. We’ll be sure to let you know if that does happen and who knows, Alabama could even get their very own online lottery!
Cash4Life – $1,000 Every Day for the Rest of Your Life!
Cash4Life is a lottery game popular across the US and online. Tickets can be purchased physically in nine different states. Alabama’s lotto players can buy their paper tickets in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. Cash4Life has been going strong since 2014, when the very first tickets were sold in New Jersey and New York. The game costs just $2 to enter, and players get to pick 5 white ball numbers and on green ‘cash ball’ number. Winners get to choose from either $1,000 a day for life or $7,000,000 cash!
Mega Millions – Match the Megaball to Win Millions!
Mega Millions is for sure one of the most famous multi-jurisdictional lotteries in America. It is played online and in 44 states, as well as Washington, D.C and the US Virgin Islands. In Mega Millions there are 70 white balls, from which players must match 5. The golden ‘MegaBall’ also needs to be picked correctly from 25 numbered balls. The game costs only $2 to enter, and can be incredibly lucrative. On the 23rd of October 2018 a historic jackpot of $1.537 billion was drawn.
Powerball – The Largest Jackpot in History
Powerball is a hugely popular lottery game played in 21 states, as well as Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and DC. The jackpots are certainly worth their $2 ticket rate, going for $40 million and higher. The Powerball lottery is drawn on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Players must pick 5 correct numbers drawn 69 white balls and 1 correct ‘Powerball’ drawn from 26. The Powerball made history on the 13th January 2016, when the largest lottery jackpot in history was drawn: an incredible $1.586 billion.
Lottery Regulator in Alabama
As there is no legal lottery in Alabama yet, there is no regulator to speak of. In the future, we hope to see this changing, as there do seem to be positive views on the lottery and its benefits for the state. It’s said that the last bill died in session because it did not include legislation on video gambling or sports betting. If a consensus on these issues can be reached with a new bill we could well see Alabama following Mississippi in legalizing state lotteries. Alabama would then need a regulating body, typically a government run organization. They will surely be looking to Georgia Lottery, Florida Lottery and Tennessee Lottery for inspiration.
History of Alabama Lottery
Since the Constitution of the State of Alabama was adopted in 1901, most forms of gambling have been illegal, including the lottery. All current forms of gambling in Alabama are due to amendments to this Constitution. Here are some historical reasons why the lottery has been objected to for so long. Alabama is in the middle of the Bible Belt and many Christians regard gambling as a sin. Corrupt lotteries in the 19th century triggered a nationwide scandal and widespread prohibition. Alabama’s constitution also makes it deliberately difficult to raise taxes. The lottery has been used as a way for state governments to raise revenue for public works; so some perceive it as a form of hidden taxation.
|1830s||The very first American colony is established in in Jamestown, Virginia. Gambling is brought to America with the colonies and spreads as a popular past time and source of revenue. Jamestown uses lotteries to finance their colony. Soon all 13 of the first colonies are using lotteries for income.|
|1983||Anti-gambling sentiment begins to grow under President Jackson. Many Evangelical Christians see the lottery as immoral and unfair to the poor. Corrupt lotteries which didn’t pay out, such as the National Lottery in 1820, contribute to this sentiment.|
|1890||The lottery is only available to play in Kentucky, Missouri, Delaware and Louisiana. These tickets are shipped across state borders to eager players, prompting an illegal lottery trade.|
|1895||The lottery is prohibited across America. Corruption and scandal within the lottery system has been exposed, causing widespread cynicism. Lottery tickets go unsold, resulting in a 90% loss of revenue.|
|1901||Gambling is explicitly prohibited in the Constitution of the State of Alabama. Reasons for this include religion, scandals and taxes.|
|1930s||The tide begins to turn in favor of the lottery in America. Governments start to reintroduce the lottery as a useful form of revenue. Puerto Rico is the first to bring in a legal lottery in 1934.|
|1970s||The lottery surges in popularity across America. Scratch cards are introduced as well as other lottery games like Keno.|
|2019||As it stands today, the lottery is popular throughout the US. Alabama and Utah still do not have legal lotteries, citing religious reasons. Mississippi has only recently brought in the lottery, having followed suit for years. Unusually, Nevada has no state lottery either, fearing competition with its world-famous gambling industry. Hawaii and Alaska show no desire to introduce lotteries, as they don’t lose out to neighboring states when a big jackpot hits the headlines.|
Famous Winners – Tonda Lynn and the Waffle House Saga
Although there’s no lottery yet in Alabama, the Yellowhammer State has produced some very lucky winners. The most famous is undoubtedly Tonda Lynn, whose lucky win was drawn on March 6th 1999. She was working at a Waffle House as a waitress and had received a lottery ticket as a tip from regular customer Edward Seward. Four other Waffle House employees received lottery tickets as tips from Seward too. Tonda Lynn’s ticket won $10 million, but she refused to split the winnings with colleagues as previously agreed. They sued her, and despite the court finding that there had been an oral agreement, it couldn’t be enforced. Tonda Lynn was allowed to keep her winnings. Edward Seward claimed he was always promised a new truck, so he sued her too – twice. Again, Tonda Lynn won these cases. Karma got her eventually when she was taxed $1,119,347.90 for gifting part of her windfall to family!
Online Lotto Legal Age in Alabama
As the lottery is not legal at the moment in Alabama, there is no minimum age associated with it. In most US states a person must be a minimum of 18 years old to legally purchase a lottery ticket. This is the case for neighboring states Georgia, Florida and Tennessee. In some US states, the legal age is set higher. In Nebraska, the age is 19, whereas Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana require players to be at least 21 years old. Underage lottery players stand to lose anything they might win, as they are playing illegally. Selling lottery tickets to minors is an offence too, that could land the offender jail time and a large fine. In certain states, lottery tickets can be given to minors as gifts.
DFS Betting AgeThere is no legal lottery age in Alabama as it is illegal.
Alcohol AgeThe legal drinking age is 21 in Alabama.
Weed AgeNeither recreational nor medical marijuana are legal in Alabama, so there is no legal smoking age.
Is Online Lotto Legal When You Are Out of the State?
The online lottery in the US is legal in ten states outside of Alabama. This is primarily because the US Department of Justice released a statement in 2011, stating the Federal Wire Act only applies to sports betting. Prior to this, the Wire Act prohibited any forms of communication that enabled interstate gambling. The original intent of the act was to halt organized crime and trafficking. The knock-on effect was that online lotteries were illegal until 2011. Following the DOJ’s opinion, it is now up to individual states to pass legislation on online lotteries. In Europe, the Euromillions is the largest lottery, available in the UK, France, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Portugal, Switzerland, and Luxembourg.
The Best Lottery Mobile App
As there is no online Alabama lottery, there is presently no local mobile app. That doesn’t mean you can’t play on the go though! Georgia Lottery has a great mobile app where you can quickly and easily discover the highest jackpots, check your numbers and buy lottery tickets. You must be over 18 years old and located in Georgia to use the app. For Alabamans who regularly travel over state lines, it’s pretty handy. You can choose from Mega Millions, Powerball, Keno! and Fantasy 5 tickets. The app is available on Android and iOS devices.
Taxes on Lotto Winnings in Alabama
Even though Alabama doesn’t have its own lottery, residents regularly cross the borders to buy tickets in neighboring states Georgia, Florida and Tennessee. This means that Alabama does have some lottery winners. When there’s cash, there’s tax – and the lottery is no exception. Lottery winnings are subject to income tax, and must be declared. The state that the Alabaman purchased the ticket in does not benefit from their income tax, only the ticket sale. Still, when there’s a huge jackpot on offer, the massive number of ticket sales to Alabamans are worth their while.
Upcoming Regulation Changes for Online Lottery
For the last twenty years Alabama lottery bills have bounced around the House of Representatives before fizzling out. This was the fate of the most recent bill, which failed for good on May 22nd 2019. According to Representative Steve Clouse, ‘It’s dead for this session’. The failure of this bill highlights the issues that need to be resolved if it wants to bring in an online or paper lottery. Concerns about the impact on existing gambling facilities were at the forefront of the argument. There were also concerns about where the money generated from a lottery would go. Prisons, Medicaid and fighting invasive Asian Carp in the Tennessee River were all brought up, with no agreement reached. So, what does the future hold for a lottery bill? The idea of an online lottery remains unaddressed, as does sports betting. A more in-depth bill overhauling gambling practices in Alabama could stand a better chance of passing in the future – or it could hit the same brick wall. You are welcome to refer to our detailed gambling in Alabama page, where we have covered all aspects of it within the state.