Smart Player Tips


If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Scams operate worldwide to convince people to spend money on illegal or fake lotteries and sweepstakes.

These scams claim you have a good chance to win or have already won a prize, but ask you to pay money or provide personal information, like a credit card number or bank account number, to claim the prize.

Some scams illegally use real game names and logos of legitimate lotteries.

Scammers may even approach you in person, claiming to have a winning ticket, but tell you they can't claim the prize themselves. These criminals will ask you to purchase their ticket or provide a "deposit" to claim the prize for them. But, they'll disappear with your money.

Always remember that legitimate lotteries require you to purchase a ticket for a chance to win a prize.

Don't Get Scammed!

  • Never cash or claim a lottery ticket for someone you don't know.
  • Never pay money to collect a lottery prize.
  • Never give your credit card numbers, bank account numbers, or other personal information to anyone trying to sell you a lottery ticket, membership in a lottery pool, or promising a prize.
  • Never accept a collect phone call from someone claiming to be a lottery official.
  • Beware of letters, email, or phone calls claiming that you've won a prize in a foreign lottery but must first pay taxes to collect the prize. Most of these are scams. Playing legitimate foreign lotteries by mail, phone, email or on the Internet is illegal.
  • Beware of letters, email, or phone calls offering you a guaranteed prize. The South Dakota Lottery does not guarantee you a prize, only a chance of winning one.
  • Beware of "urgent" solicitations that require a quick response.
  • Buy lottery tickets only from authorized South Dakota Lottery retailers.

The South Dakota Lottery does not

  • Require a winner to pay money upfront to claim a prize.
  • Require personal information such as social security numbers or bank account numbers from winners over the phone, by email or online. A prize of $101 or more must be claimed at a South Dakota Lottery office using an official claim form.
  • Require short response time to cash or claim a winning ticket. Winning lotto tickets can be claimed up to 180 days following the drawing. Winning scratch tickets can be claimed up to 180 days following the game's end.
  • Enter someone into a drawing, promotion for an added bonus or prize, or for any other reason without their knowledge.
  • Require you to be a United States citizen to claim a South Dakota Lottery prize.

Report suspected scams to the S.D. Attorney General's Consumer Protection Unit at 1-800-300-1986