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Government keeps NC lottery prizes if winner owes

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RALEIGH — Winning the lottery in North Carolina can mean no payout if the winner owes the state back taxes, student loans or child support.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Tuesday that the state has collected $1.3 million in overdue payments from lottery winners since the first ticket was sold in 2006.

Some winners also have had to repay hospital debts. State law requires that officials check winners to see if they have such debts.

Lottery spokeswoman Alice Garland says some winners are happy the money will repay such debts, including a man who hit a $100,000 prize and paid some for back child support.

One man who won a $35,000 prize left the lottery office with nothing after taxes and debt payments were deducted.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Winning the lottery in North Carolina can mean no payout if the winner owes the state back taxes, student loans or child support.

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Associated poll

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