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South Carolina Lotteries

South Carolina voters approved a state-run lottery on 7 November 2000. In June 2001, the South Carolina Education Lottery Act (Act 59 of 2001) established the South Carolina Education Lottery (SCEL) and the South Carolina Education Lottery Commission, a policy and advisement body for the organization and operation of the SCEL. The Commission comprises a board of nine members appointed to alternating three-year terms: three by the Governor, three by the state's President of the Senate, and three by the Speaker of the House.

The SCEL began operations in January 2002 with scratch tickets and added Powerball in October 2002. It now offers a variety of instant scratch tickets, plus in-state and multi-state draw games.

The Act requires the net proceeds, ticket sales less prizes and operating expenses, and any other monies derived from lottery games to be transferred to the Education Lottery Account (ELA) within the State Treasury.

State law permits the SCEL to spend up to 1% of gross ticket sales for advertising expenses. In accordance with the Act, a minimum of 45% of gross ticket sales must be returned to the public as prizes. Winning instant game ticket prizes must be claimed within 90 days after the game's last sale date, and online game prizes must be claimed within 180 days after the game's draw date before they are considered unclaimed and must be deposited into the ELA account.

Lottery retailers are typically located in convenience stores, grocery stores, package stores, and newsstands throughout the state. By law, lottery retailers must be paid a 7% commission of their total ticket sales in compensation from the SCEL. They can also receive a 1% incentive, limited to $50,000, for selling a winning ticket of $10,000 or more. Winning tickets of $500 or less can be redeemed at retailer locations; winnings over $100,000 must be claimed in person at the SCEL. Prizes of $100,000 or less may be redeemed by mail, as well. Lottery tickets cannot be purchased with a credit card; they must be paid for with cash only.

In November 2008, the SCEL installed a new online gaming system allowing lottery retailers to sell tickets 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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