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Lottery Post breaks down every state lottery's response to COVID-19

Mar 23, 2020, 1:25 pm

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Insider BuzzInsider Buzz: Lottery Post breaks down every state lottery's response to COVID-19Rating:

By Todd Northrop

Update 3/24/2020: Added Indiana and Montana COVID-19 responses

Update 4/6/2020: A new article with updated COVID-19 responses is published here

As the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to disrupt businesses and lives throughout the United States, individual state lotteries have vastly different responses, and some will have you scratching your head.

Monday morning, Lottery Post cataloged each and every lottery in the United States to see what information the lottery included on its official website about its response to the virus, and found what we consider to be the best link at the lottery's website for more information.

Responses varied from logically cautious to business as usual — and in some cases no published response at all.

Lottery Post applauds all the state lotteries that have provided specific messages to their players about the coronavirus. Many lotteries provided information right on their home page, but for others we had to dig into their press releases to find information.  We hope all lotteries will post the information directly on their home page.

Those lotteries that have chosen to not publish any information about their response to COVID-19 are doing a great disservice to their players.

We will not mince words: Lottery Post encourages lottery players in every state to mail prize claims, rather than visiting their state lottery claims centers, regardless of whether or not the claims center is closed. For state lotteries that have not published any guidance on their website about the coronavirus, we at least tried to track down information on their website about how to claim a prize by mail.

Every state lottery's COVID-19 response (or lack thereof)

Arizona

Claim centers open.

How to claim prizes (Lottery Post recommends claiming prizes by mail)

Arkansas

Claim centers closed to walk-in traffic, prizes under $25,000 must be claimed by mail. Prizes $25,000 or more must be claimed in person by appointment. To make an appointment, email Claim Center Manager Sandra Cummings at sandra.cummings@arkansas.gov. The lottery's phone lines are currently down.

How to claim prizes

California

No COVID-19 response on website

How to claim prizes (Lottery Post recommends claiming prizes by mail)

Colorado

Claim centers closed through April 18.

How to claim prizes

Connecticut

The CT Lottery has extended its claims period by 30 days for all tickets originally due to expire from March 16 - April 14, 2020. Prizes $5,000 - $49,999 must be claimed by mail. Prizes $50,000 and above must be made in-person at the CT Lottery's Rocky Hill headquarters, and by appointment only. To make an appointment, claimants should call (860) 713-2679.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

Delaware

The Division of Revenue Redemption Centers in Wilmington, Dover, and Georgetown are currently unable to cash lottery tickets. Players should mail prize claims.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

Florida

All claim deadlines have been extended by 90 days, giving players the option to hold on to winning tickets and wait to claim any prizes until Lottery offices reopen to the public. The Florida Lottery headquarters and all district offices are closed to the public. All Lottery Draw game drawings are being conducted as scheduled, and winner claims and prize payments will continue to be processed via mail.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

Georgia

The claim centers at Georgia Lottery headquarters and district offices will be closed from March 19-31, 2020. Prizes up to $600 can be claimed at Georgia Lottery retailers. Also, winners can mail all prize claims to: Georgia Lottery Corporation, P.O. Box 56966, Atlanta, GA 30343.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

Idaho

No COVID-19 response on website

How to claim prizes (Lottery Post recommends claiming prizes by mail)

Illinois

All Lottery claim centers are now closed until further notice, but prizes can be claimed via mail.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

Indiana

Update 3/24/2020: Prizes $100,000 or greater must be claimed in person by appointment (call 1-800-955-6886 to schedule an appointment); all other prizes must be claimed by mail.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

Iowa

Lottery offices are closed to the public. Prizes must be claimed by mail or by dropoff to a secure dropbox at Lottery headquarters in Clive.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

Kansas

From March 23-April 6, the Kansas Lottery will not be able to process any claims for prizes $600 or larger. Upon re-opening April 6, Lottery staff will begin processing mail-in claim tickets in the order they are received. It is unknown at this time when in-person claims will resume.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

Kentucky

The Lexington claims center is closed, but the Louisville claims center remains open to only handle claims of $600 or more. You can claim a prize of up to $50,000 by mail.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

Louisiana

Winning lottery tickets $600 or more can be claimed in person by appointment only. Winning tickets can also be claimed through the mail but the lottery says they are not responsible for tickets lost in transit.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

Maine

No COVID-19 response on website

How to claim prizes (Lottery Post recommends claiming prizes by mail)

Maryland

Prize claims at the Lottery office at 1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 330, will be accepted from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays; and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

Massachusetts

All Lottery claims centers will be closed to the public Monday and Tuesday, March 23-24. Prize claim forms are now available for download.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

Michigan

Lottery prizes of up to $600 may be claimed at retailers and prizes of $601 to $50,000 may be claimed via U.S. mail. Prize claims of $50,001 will continue to be processed by appointment.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

Minnesota

No COVID-19 response on website

How to claim prizes (Lottery Post recommends claiming prizes by mail)

Mississippi

Prizes $100,000 or greater must be claimed by appointment at lottery headquarters; all other prizes must be claimed by mail (but the lottery's onerous documentation requirements make it somewhat difficult).

The lottery's COVID-19 response

Missouri

All prizes must be claimed by mail until lottery offices re-open at an unspecified later date.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

Montana

Update 3/24/2020: Prizes can still be claimed in person at the Helena headquarters, but winners cannot sit for an interview or take a photo. Players are encouraged to claim prizes by mail.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

Nebraska

Regional Lottery Claim Centers in Grand Island, Norfolk, North Platte, and Scottsbluff are closed to the public until further notice. Nebraska Lottery headquarters in Lincoln and the Omaha Claim Center remain open, but office hours may be adjusted as more information becomes available.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

New Hampshire

Prizes can be claimed at the sales office as usual.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

New Jersey

The expiration date for all claims set to expire between March 19, 2020, and April 5, 2020 will now be extended for an additional 30 days from the date of expiration. The New Jersey Lottery's front office is temporarily closed for the collection of walk-in claims, with an anticipated reopening of April 1.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

New Mexico

Winning tickets can be claimed via mail or at Lottery headquarters. The Lottery’s Claim Center hours are being adjusted to 9 AM – 1 PM Tuesday through Thursday until further notice.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

New York

Lottery regional customer service and claim centers are closed to the public, but prizes can be claimed through the mail. A claim form is linked directly on the lottery's home page.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

North Carolina

All claim centers are closed at least through March 31. Prizes less than $100,000 can be claimed through the mail, but bigger prizes must still be claimed in person.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

North Dakota

No COVID-19 response on website

How to claim prizes (Lottery Post recommends claiming prizes by mail)

Ohio

All regional offices are closed and winners can submit claims by mail.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

Oklahoma

No COVID-19 response on website

How to claim prizes (Lottery Post recommends claiming prizes by mail)

Oregon

Both the Salem and Wilsonville Lottery offices are temporarily closed, but prizes can still be claimed by mail.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

Pennsylvania

No COVID-19 response on website

How to claim prizes (Lottery Post recommends claiming prizes by mail)

Rhode Island

No COVID-19 response on website

How to claim prizes (Lottery Post recommends claiming prizes by mail)

South Carolina

The claims center is closed until further notice. Prizes $100,000 or less can be claimed by mail or presented in-person upon reopening. The last day to redeem tickets set to expire during this time period will be extended accordingly. Prizes over $100,000 must be presented in-person when the Claims Center reopens (date uncertain).

The lottery's COVID-19 response

South Dakota

South Dakota Lottery offices are closed, with an uncertain re-opening date. Prizes must be claimed by mail.

How to claim prizes

Tennessee

The Nashville Headquarters claim center and the claim centers at the district offices in Chattanooga, Knoxville and Memphis are closed. Prizes must be claimed by mail.

How to claim prizes

Texas

All Texas Lottery Claim Centers are closed until further notice. All winning scratch and draw game tickets with prizes of up to $5 million may be claimed at this time via mail.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

Vermont

The Vermont Lottery has suspended acceptance of claims in-person at the Lottery Headquarters in Berlin, but prizes can be claimed by mail.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

Virginia

Virginia Lottery Customer Service Centers closed statewide through April 3, but prizes can be claimed by mail. Prizes greater than $600 have ID requirements that need to be included with the claim.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

Washington

Business as usual, with no changes in operation or claiming of prizes.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

Washington, D.C.

The lottery's Shannon Place prize center is closed to walk-in claims. Prizes greater than $5,000 must be claimed in person by appointment only.

How to claim prizes

West Virginia

No COVID-19 response on website, and unable to locate a page that describes how to claim by mail.

Contact the lottery (Lottery Post recommends contacting the WV Lottery to find out how to claim prizes by mail)

Wisconsin

Conflicting information states that the Madison validations office is open for claims, but the next sentence states that the Madison validations office is unable to redeem Wisconsin Lottery Tickets.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

Wyoming

The lottery's offices remain open, but players are encouraged to claim prizes by mail.

The lottery's COVID-19 response

Lottery Post Staff

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23 comments. Last comment 5 months ago by HoLeeKau.
Page 1 of 2
rcbbuckeye's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
Texas
United States
Member #55887
October 23, 2007
10204 Posts
Offline
Posted: March 23, 2020, 2:14 pm - IP Logged

Good info Todd.

Regarding Texas, they have more in depth info, clicking on the "Media" tab.

"All Lotto Texas®, Powerball®and Mega Millions®grand or jackpot prizes regardless of the amount,all prizes paid out in annuity payments, and any prize greater than $5 million will be processed by appointment only at theTexas Lottery Commission headquarters in Austin.To schedule an appointment, please call 512-344-5049or email ClaimantProcessingAlert@lottery.state.tx.us".

CAN'T WIN IF YOU'RE NOT IN

A DOLLAR AND A DREAM (OR $2)

    dpoly1's avatar - driver
    PA
    United States
    Member #66139
    October 16, 2008
    1988 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: March 23, 2020, 2:35 pm - IP Logged

    Thanks Todd!

    dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -

     

    Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!

      Todd's avatar - Cylon 200.jpg
      50
      Chief Bottle Washer
      New Jersey
      United States
      Member #1
      May 31, 2000
      25767 Posts
      Online
      Posted: March 23, 2020, 2:56 pm - IP Logged

      Good info Todd.

      Regarding Texas, they have more in depth info, clicking on the "Media" tab.

      "All Lotto Texas®, Powerball®and Mega Millions®grand or jackpot prizes regardless of the amount,all prizes paid out in annuity payments, and any prize greater than $5 million will be processed by appointment only at theTexas Lottery Commission headquarters in Austin.To schedule an appointment, please call 512-344-5049or email ClaimantProcessingAlert@lottery.state.tx.us".

      Of course, I would strongly recommend that people visit their state lottery website for more information.  (Which is why links are provide in the article.)  The goal here is to provide an overview of how it is handled from state-to-state, and then provide specific links for more information.

      Also, this is a snapshot as of Monday morning.  Because things are changing rapidly, you should definitely follow the links for any updates provided by the lottery.  I sincerely hope that lotteries that have not yet posted information about COVID-19 would immediately do so.

       

      Check the State Lottery Report Card
      What grade did your lottery earn?

       

      Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
      Help eliminate computerized drawings!

        chris632's avatar - Lottery-033.jpg
        florida
        United States
        Member #30984
        January 23, 2006
        267 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: March 23, 2020, 5:09 pm - IP Logged

        Of course, I would strongly recommend that people visit their state lottery website for more information.  (Which is why links are provide in the article.)  The goal here is to provide an overview of how it is handled from state-to-state, and then provide specific links for more information.

        Also, this is a snapshot as of Monday morning.  Because things are changing rapidly, you should definitely follow the links for any updates provided by the lottery.  I sincerely hope that lotteries that have not yet posted information about COVID-19 would immediately do so.

        Thanks Todd, I figured something like this would happen soon. Not that I've won much lately but I feel a little uneasy about mailing a winning ticket in to claim unless they have safeguards in place. 

        Thanks, Chris

          cottoneyedjoe's avatar - cuonvFT

          United States
          Member #197033
          March 28, 2019
          538 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: March 23, 2020, 5:21 pm - IP Logged

          Todd, CA Lottery has a coronavirus page on their website: https://www.calottery.com/COVID-19-Updates

          The odd thing is that there's no link to this page on the front page or the news page of the website. I found it just by chance looking at the sitemap page.

          ... Sooper dooper top seekrit winning numbers: 5 16 17 24 33 52 ...

            Avatar
            Billionaires Row 57th street Manhattan
            United States
            Member #197346
            April 9, 2019
            4564 Posts
            Online
            Posted: March 23, 2020, 5:35 pm - IP Logged

            Was there any article published this year for 2019 lottery revenues of all states yet ? 

              Avatar
              Louisiana
              United States
              Member #191895
              August 27, 2018
              619 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: March 23, 2020, 5:59 pm - IP Logged

              Certified Mail, or Registered Mail must be used. 

              All number sets are contenders until the drawing occurs.

                dpoly1's avatar - driver
                PA
                United States
                Member #66139
                October 16, 2008
                1988 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: March 23, 2020, 6:09 pm - IP Logged

                Of course Pennsylvania gives you absolutely NO information as to how you will ever claim your prize!

                dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -

                 

                Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!

                  Todd's avatar - Cylon 200.jpg
                  50
                  Chief Bottle Washer
                  New Jersey
                  United States
                  Member #1
                  May 31, 2000
                  25767 Posts
                  Online
                  Posted: March 23, 2020, 7:35 pm - IP Logged

                  Todd, CA Lottery has a coronavirus page on their website: https://www.calottery.com/COVID-19-Updates

                  The odd thing is that there's no link to this page on the front page or the news page of the website. I found it just by chance looking at the sitemap page.

                  Here's what I see at that link:

                   

                  Check the State Lottery Report Card
                  What grade did your lottery earn?

                   

                  Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
                  Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                    Artist77's avatar - batman14

                    United States
                    Member #121741
                    January 16, 2012
                    7584 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: March 23, 2020, 7:47 pm - IP Logged

                    There was an update from the Virginia Lottery today. See last paragraph. 30 days to claim after the emergency order is lifted.

                    The Lottery understands players want to limit out-of-home travel at this time. As a reminder, if you have winning tickets, you can mail them to the Lottery for validation and prize payment.

                    Please note that the processing time may be longer than usual. For the safety of our employees and with the latest recommendations from health experts in mind, Lottery staff is working remotely. Be assured that we will process winning-ticket payments as quickly as possible when we return to the office.
                     
                    If you have a winning ticket for which the prize-redemption period expires during the Governor's declared state of emergency, the Lottery will validate and pay the prize as long as you file your claim by mail or in person at a Customer Service Center no later than 30 days after Virginia's state of emergency order has been lifted.

                    Je vous salue, Marie, pleine de grace.  We will rebuild!

                      cottoneyedjoe's avatar - cuonvFT

                      United States
                      Member #197033
                      March 28, 2019
                      538 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: March 23, 2020, 8:01 pm - IP Logged

                      Wow! They took that page down fast and they removed the link from the sitemap. I wonder why?

                      Here is the Google cache version https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:https://www.calottery.com/COVID-19-Updates just in case people think I'm trippin'.

                      ... Sooper dooper top seekrit winning numbers: 5 16 17 24 33 52 ...

                        Avatar
                        Albuquerque, New Mexico
                        United States
                        Member #3837
                        February 24, 2004
                        26 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: March 23, 2020, 8:07 pm - IP Logged

                        I don't see that many players buying tickets like I used to. Many are staying home.

                        Albuquerque, New Mexico

                         

                        Party

                          Avatar
                          Austin
                          United States
                          Member #191205
                          July 21, 2018
                          42 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: March 23, 2020, 9:45 pm - IP Logged

                          I'm buying my tickets but playing for 2 weeks. If nobody wins over next 3-4 weeks, we could be looking at $1billion again! We'll see

                            Avatar
                            Chasing $ Millions.
                            White Shores- California
                            United States
                            Member #136473
                            December 12, 2012
                            6275 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: March 24, 2020, 12:08 am - IP Logged

                            Say what you will- Governor Newsum isn't playing games. He said he would close parking lots at dozens of beaches and state parks to prevent the spread of coronavirus after large groups flocked to the coast and mountains to get outdoors on the first weekend under the state's stay-at-home order.

                            Go Away Reaction GIF by Robert E Blackmon

                             * Voice of Reason *   

                             

                            People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.