Lotteries, Raffles & Sweepstakes

A lottery (which includes a raffle, sweepstakes or gift enterprise) is a scheme involving the distribution of property by chance to people who have paid or who have promised to pay any valuable consideration (i.e. money) for the chance to get the property or a part of the property. In Idaho, it is a misdemeanor to engage or assist in a lottery, traffic in lottery tickets, maintain a lottery office or allow property to be used to conduct a lottery. However, exclusions to the lottery prohibition exist, including:

International Lottery Scams. Scammers outside the U.S. use the phone and mail to entice U.S. consumers to buy into high-stakes foreign lotteries. These lottery solicitations violate federal law, which prohibits the cross-border sale or purchase of lottery tickets by phone or mail. Toss those envelopes stuffed with promises of vast wealth into the recycle bin. Click here for more tips about identifying and avoiding lottery scams.

Counterfeit Checks. Fake checks often accompany lottery and sweepstakes scams. These checks are printed on high quality printers and have the names, addresses, routing numbers and watermarks of legitimate financial institutions. Click here to learn how to recognize counterfeits and where to report them.