Retailer Questions

Questions About Becoming a Retailer


According to your contract you are asked, when reasonable, to pay all winning tickets up to $599. Winners tend to tell friends where they won and will spend some or all of their winnings in your store. Each store may determine the maximum prize amount they will pay. If less than $599, please post this information


Insufficient funds in a retailer bank account at the scheduled time of an EFT results in a Non-Transfer of Funds (NFT). NFT's that occur within a 12-month period will result in the following actions: First and Second NFT - $25 service fee; Second with a previous NFT balance - $25 service fee and suspension of ordering and wagering; Third NFT - $50 service fee and suspension of ordering and wagering; Fourth or more NFT - $75 service fee and suspension of ordering and wagering for each occurrence. The Lottery reserves the right to terminate the contract of any retailer who incurs three or more NFT's within a 12-month period.  The policy ensures that service fees and suspensions are administered uniformly. Please call the Retailer Hotline (1.800.242.7782) with any questions.

Yes, the Lottery needs to know any time your business structure changes. That means if an owner changes or an officer changes, or your FEIN number changes. Any of these would be reasons for the Wisconsin Lottery to need new/updated paperwork to your current Lottery contract.

You may easily change your bank account by submitting a Lottery Retailer Electronic Funds Transfer(EFT) Authorization form. You can easily find this form here on our website.


Immediately produce a reprint ticket. DO NOT give the reprint to the customer. Attach the reprint ticket to the questionable Lotto ticket and send with an explanation in the “adjustment envelope” (provided by IGT) to the Lottery. The Lottery will make the determination as to the adjustment of your account. Watch your BILLING STATEMENT for this adjustment. It will be for the amount of the “unreadable ticket” minus your commission.

After producing the reprinted ticket, you may then generate another ticket for the customer.

Call IGT Hotline (1.800.950.5686) and report the problem. 

Altura terminals are placed on a quarterly basis. Retailers will be considered based on sales at your place of business.

Call the Lottery at least two weeks in advance of work to coordinate the inside wiring move. Inform IGT (1.800.950.5686) before you unplug the Terminal. The Lottery Terminal must be plugged into a dedicated electric outlet.

The Altura Terminal requires a dedicated electric line.  This means a special electric line that has nothing else plugged into it, except the Terminal and LED message board.  If other equipment is plugged into this line, it could adversely affect your Terminal with down time and lost sales. 

YES.  Power to the Terminal must remain ON at all times.  DO NOT UNPLUG.  The central computer system communicates important information to the Terminal during “off hours.”  The Terminal should only be unplugged upon instructions from a IGT Hotline operator.  If you have Terminal problems, call the IGT Hotline (1.800.950.5686).

  • Balancing Report, which summarizes a day or week’s activities.
  • Billing Report, which is your weekly billing invoice (last 52 weeks available.)
  • Instant Order Liability Report, which details packs of tickets and billing date.
  • Winning Numbers Report, all games or a specific game and date.
  • Jackpot Report for Powerball, Mega Millions, Megabucks and Badger 5.
  • No Top Prize Report, this must be posted in your store (update weekly.)
  • News message report repeats the Sign-on message.
  • Game Calendar Report, which lists all instant games available.


NO.  Reprint tickets can not be sold or used to collect winnings. The only purpose of a reprint ticket is to send into the Lottery to receive credit for an unreadable ticket transaction.

There is a “No Cancellation Policy” for any Lotto tickets produced in error. We recommend selling the ticket to another player. As a good business practice, always verify ticket requests with player, get the money and then press SEND.

  • VERIFY the name of the game.
  • VERIFY the number of dollars and number of days.
  • COLLECT the money.
  • if all the above has been completed; press SEND

180 DAYS.  Instant scratch games expire 180 days following the declared game ending date.  Lotto game tickets expire 180 days from date of the draw for which the ticket was purchased.
Keep in mind that the Lottery will inform retailers ahead of expiration date for an opportunity to return these tickets.

DO NOT PAY. Credit cannot be given as the ticket has been previously cashed at another retailer location. The previous retailer did not properly destroy the ticket and the player is trying to cash again. Do not confront the player. Suggest he send the ticket to the Lottery for payment. Always remember to scan the ticket to validate, and then tear winning tickets in half through the validation barcode, and staple one half to the Cash Authorization Receipt.

You may manually enter the ticket serial number. Touch INSTANT CASH, and then manually enter the numbers on the back of the ticket, followed by the numbers on the front of the ticket, skipping the three boxed digits. Lastly, enter the three boxed digits. Never "sight validate" tickets, always confirm validation on the terminal.

Do not redeem tickets that you suspect have been tampered with or that are mutilated.  Give the player a Claim Form and instruct them to send the ticket to the Lottery.

Player Questions:

Since 1988, the Wisconsin Lottery has managed the Lottery fund with the following results (current as of 2/10/06 using sales through 2004)):

    PLAYER PRIZES - $3.568 billion or 55.76% of Revenue
      At least 50% of total revenue must be dedicated to prize winnings.
    RETAILER COMMISSIONS - $340.8 million or 5.33% of Revenue
      This money goes to Wisconsin businesses.
    OPERATIONAL EXPENSES - $427.4 million or 6.68% of Revenue
      Expenses include staff salaries.  The Lottery has operated well below the mandated limit of 10%.
    PROPERTY TAX RELIEF - $2.062 billion or 32.23% of Revenue
      This money has been returned to eligible Wisconsin taxpayers.

Through 2005, the Wisconsin Lottery has generated more than $7.337 billion in total revenue.  At least 95% of that revenue has gone back to the people of Wisconsin.  The money stays in Wisconsin's economy for the good of everyone.

An annuity is a sum of money payable annually or at regular intervals. Powerball, Mega Millions and Megabucks have top prizes that provide an annual annuity option. The Lottery uses the money in the prize pool to purchase zero-coupon bonds. Each of the bonds matures annually so the winner receives a check each year. By buying bonds the Lottery can offer larger prizes than a single, lump sum cash payment. The jackpot prize is paid in 25 annual installments for Megabucks, 30 annual installments for Powerball and 26 annual installments for Mega Millions. The estimated jackpot is the approximate value of the 25, 26, or 30-year annuity prize.

The cash option jackpot prize is paid in one lump sum cash payment equal to the amount of cash available to the Lottery in the jackpot prize pool, which will be less than the estimated jackpot. This cash payment may be approximately one-half of the estimated annuitized jackpot as advertised by the Lottery.

NO.  Credit cards may not be used to purchase lottery tickets. 

NO, Wisconsin Lottery tickets may only be purchased at a participating Wisconsin Lottery retailer.

You may print and post Winning Number reports.  They may look on the Lottery's website or call the Lottery Player Hotline (1.608.266.7777). Numbers are also posted in the local news media. All past historical numbers may be obtained by sending a request and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Wisconsin Lottery, attention Player Relations, PO Box 8941, Madison, Wisconsin 53708-8941.

Tickets can only be sold to persons at least 18 years of age,  but minors may receive tickets as gifts.

Winning tickets of $600 or more must be claimed at a Lottery office or by mail.  Lottery offices are located in Madison and Milwaukee.  To claim by mail the player should sign the back of the ticket, complete a Winner Claim Form and mail them to:  Prize Payment, Wisconsin Lottery, Madison, WI  53774. We recommend that you utilize a mailing method that provides you with proof of mailing. Please keep copies of your submissions.

All Powerball, Mega Millions and Megabucks jackpot prizes must be claimed in Madison.  For jackpot prizes players may call 608.261.4916 to make arrangements to come in to validate the ticket.

NO, not in the true sense of the word. Wisconsin has "Open Records" law. Virtually any information state government produces, or controls, is available to any person requesting. The statutes are specific in determining what individual information may be subject to this law. Only information "in the public's interest" may be released by a government agency. For Lottery winners this means that it has (1) been determined that it is in the public's interest to know there have been Lottery winners (as the proceeds of the Lottery are for public use, i.e. Property Tax Relief) and (2) the Lottery must, upon request, release the name and hometown of winners. Any other information about the winner, their future plans or any background information will only be released with the winner's consent. The winner may or may not speak to the media. It is not required, nor can it be prevented.

All lottery winnings are taxable.  The Lottery automatically deducts 25% federal income tax withholding for winnings $5,001 or greater and 7.75% state income tax withholding for winners over $1,999.

The odds are calculated by taking the total number of tickets printed divided by the total number of prizes available.  Where the prizes end up when the tickets are printed is determined by random, computer generated formulas.  Although any particular string of ten tickets may not produce a winner, there is just as much possibility that another string of ten tickets could produce several winning tickets.

Of the first 59 winners in the Powerball game, there were 41 winners (about 70%) who won using "Quick-Pick" or computer generated numbers.  The remaining 18 winners (30%) used their personally-selected numbers.

The remaining payments are given to the estate of the winner (Wis. Stats. 565.30 (1).)

The value of unclaimed prizes is credited to the Lottery Property Tax Relief Fund.