FAQ - Retailer

Q: I have a friend who owns a business, is it too late for him to apply for a license?
No. SCEL has an open application process meaning there is no initial application deadline. Keep in mind, however, the application approval process may take 6-8 weeks. To request an application, call 1-866-737-7235 (option 4) or click the retailer application link.

Q: Online games? You mean I can sell lottery tickets over the Internet?
A: No. The term "online game"' has nothing to do with the Internet. In fact, you are only allowed to buy lottery tickets from a licensed lottery retailer. The term "online" refers to our Pick 3, Pick 4, Palmetto Cash 5, Lucky For Life, Mega Millions® and Powerball® games. The word "online" is used because the terminals used to validate and dispense the tickets have an "always on" data line that connects the retailer's terminal to a centralized computer system.

Q: How much money should I have on hand to pay out winners?
Although we ask our retailers to pay out tickets up to and including $500, we realize instances may arise where there is not enough money on hand to pay a winner.  A retailer has several options, depending on whether the winning ticket has been VALIDATED OR NOT. If the ticket HAS BEEN VALIDATED, offer the winner payment by check or money order. If a player comes in with a winning ticket which HAS NOT BEEN VALIDATED, refer the winner to the Columbia Claims Center or nearby lottery retailer. Keep in mind, however, that customers often purchase more tickets or buy other items from you with their winnings. Winnings over $100,000 must be claimed in person at the Columbia Claims Center. All prizes of $100,000 or less can be redeemed by mail or at the Columbia Claims Center.

Q: Do I have to payout prizes in cash?
A: No. Prizes may be paid by cash, and if necessary for large prizes up to $500, check or money order.

Q: Do I get extra commission on selling a winning ticket or when I payout on a winning ticket?
A: No. Retailers earn 7 percent sales commission on a ticket at the time the ticket is purchased. This commission is among the highest offered by a lottery in the United States. We do offer a retailer commission to retailers who sell large winning tickets that are redeemed. Ask your MSR for more details.

Q: Can a customer use a credit card, check, or an ATM card to purchase lottery tickets?
A: No. All lottery ticket purchases MUST be made with CASH.

Q: You didn't answer my question. Now what do I do?
A: If you have other questions (related to the SCEL), please ask your Marketing Sales Representative (MSR) or call toll-free 1-866-736-9819 during regular business hours, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  In Columbia, please call 737-2002. 

Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of all information contained on this site. This site, however, is not the final authority on games, winning numbers, or other information. All winning tickets must be validated by the SCEL before prizes will be paid. You must be 18 years of age or older to play the games of the South Carolina Education Lottery. Our site is constantly updated with new information. Please check back often.
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