JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Lottery is allowing people who have a gambling problem to voluntarily ban themselves for life.
People who participate will be prohibited from claiming winnings of $600 or more. The option started Thursday, and officials say it is modeled after self-exclusion programs in Illinois, Iowa and Maryland.
Missouri Lottery Executive Director May Scheve Reardon says the $600 figure was chosen because lottery winnings of that amount or more are claimed at one of the lottery's regional offices. She says enforcement at 5,000 retail locations would be impossible.
To enact a self-ban, people will sign, notarize and submit an agreement to the Missouri Lottery. Officials will keep a database to be checked when someone comes to claim a prize. Those who have banned themselves will be denied payment.