Lottery in Alabama: FAQs and How to Play

By Milo Cruz
Last Updated: March 11, 2019

Is there a lottery in Alabama?

No. Alabama is among 6 US states that do not have a state-operated lottery, together with Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, and Utah.

Why Alabama Doesn’t Have a State Lottery

Alabama’s constitution explicitly prohibits the establishment of an official state lottery.

Article IV, §65 states: “The legislature shall have no power to authorize lotteries or gift enterprises for any purposes, and shall pass laws to prohibit the sale in this state of lottery or gift enterprise tickets…”

Can you buy lottery tickets in Alabama?

No. The sale of lottery tickets within the state of Alabama is not permitted by law.

How can people in Alabama play lottery?

Alabamians will have to cross state borders to purchase lottery tickets. Neighboring states Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee allow lottery sales, so those would be the most practical options.

Can you win the lottery if you live in Alabama?

Yes, you can, but you’ll have to pay additional state taxes on top of any standard taxes that already apply.

Will Alabama ever get the lottery?

That remains to be seen.

While strong opposition from religious groups were a major hindrance in establishing an official Alabama lottery in the past, more and more people today are now recognizing the benefits having one could bring.

However, lawmakers and voters alike have not been able to agree on how the money raised by a lottery should be spent. In 1999, Alabamians turned down a lottery that would benefit public education because some believed the funds could be put to better use elsewhere. More recently in 2016, a lottery bill came close to being passed, but those in favor could not agree on how to spend the revenues created.

With Mississippi appearing to soon hop on the lottery bandwagon, Alabama lawmakers are now facing more pressure to come to a decision. As to when that will happen – at this point, only time will tell.