What is the legal age for playing the Illinois lottery?
You have to be at least 18 years of age to play the lottery in Illinois. This applies to retail locations and online lottery sales.
How are IL lottery profits used?
Proceeds from the sale of all Illinois Lottery tickets with the exception of specialty instant tickets go into the Common School Fund. In 2022, the Illinois Lottery contributed $775 million to this fund. The resources are used to support K-12 public education throughout the state.
The specialty instant tickets that we touched upon are tickets that provide support for specific worthy causes. These would include the Special Olympics, Multiple Sclerosis research, organizations for veterans, police memorials, breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, HIV/AIDS, and homelessness.
Do I pay taxes on Illinois lottery winning?
Illinois lottery winnings, and profits from all other types of gambling in Illinois, are subject to regular income taxes on the federal and state levels. In Illinois, there is a flat 4.95% income tax rate.
Under the tax code, if you win over $1,000 in a single payment playing the lottery, 4.95% of the winnings will be withheld by the state.
If you win more than $5,000, there is a mandatory 24% withholding for federal income tax. The rate that you actually pay will depend on your overall tax situation including income from other sources, deductions, credits, etc.
To learn more, have a look at our page dedicated to Illinois gambling taxes.
Illinois Lottery History
The Illinois Lottery was launched in 1974, and during that first year, the offerings were limited to passive weekly drawings. After an initial wave of excitement, enthusiasm dwindled, and the Pick 3 terminal game was introduced in 1980 to give people more direct involvement.
This made a major difference, and sales picked up once again. Subsequently, the lottery added more and more games, and the popularity of the lottery continued to grow. At this point, the lottery is firmly entrenched as a statewide institution.