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OPINION

When the winner of a Texas Lottery prize has incurred certain types of debts that are owed to or collected by the State and various other conditions are met, the Lottery Act (now chapter 466 of the Government Code) has always required the Lottery Commission to deduct and recoup the amounts of such debts from the prize payments that it would otherwise make to the winner. Since 1999, lottery winners have been permitted to voluntarily assign their rights to receive prize payments. The central issue in this appeal is whether the Lottery Act permits or requires the Lottery Commission to make deductions from prize payments to recoup a prize winner’s debts in instances where the winner has assigned his rights to the payments before the statutory prerequisites for the deductions were ever met. We conclude that the Lottery Act does not authorize the deductions under those circumstances.

 
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