In April 2018, the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco drew from nearly 16,000 entries to choose 51 lucky winners in the Florida liquor license lottery. With more publicity than previous years, this year’s lottery is expected to have many more entries, making it even more difficult to win.
Let’s look at the odds. In 2017, the likelihood of winning a quota liquor license in the lottery was 1 in 450. Those are much better numbers than the Florida Lotto, which were 1 in 22,957,480. However, the chance of winning is still less than extremely low.
Florida is one of 17 states that have a quota system. There are even fewer states that distribute their new licenses in lottery form. Arizona also has a quota liquor license lottery; however, they take steps to ensure that the winners of the licenses are using them, rather than selling them.
In Florida, winners can put their licenses in escrow for six months while they decide if they want to use or sell the license. Additionally, winners can request a year extension after the initial six months. Essentially, individuals have up to 18 months to either sell/transfer the license, use it, or lose it.
It sounds like easy money, right? Don’t be fooled. After winning a license, there is a process that individuals must go through before actually obtaining the license.
First, you must be 21, unlike the Florida lottery, which requires you to be 18 to play. Second, after your name has been drawn as a winner, you must submit fingerprints. In addition to fingerprints, you must have no felony convictions within the past 15 years. Lastly, you must pay a one-time fee of $10,500 and a license fee, which varies by county.
How do you win? Well, first you have to enter. The deadline to participate in this year’s quota liquor license lottery is October 3, 2018. You can enter as many counties as you would like, but only once per county. It is $100 per entry.
From that point, it’s pure luck.