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Players vent frustrations as New York Lottery claim centers struggle to keep up

Sep 12, 2020, 5:42 pm

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New York LotteryNew York Lottery: Players vent frustrations as New York Lottery claim centers struggle to keep upRating:

Limited options mean longer wait times for New Yorkers

By Kate Northrop

Players in New York City, and New York in general, have very limited options for claiming winnings since the pandemic hit, but players are increasingly growing more frustrated as wait times pile up with little relief in sight.

With no open lottery service centers in New York City, players who want to claim winnings above $600 in-person have no choice but to travel upstate. Even then, the next available appointment can be weeks or months away depending on the location.

"You win $900, you gotta wait four months for your money," player Pat Ferraro said outside the Plainview claim center. "It's crazy!"

As of today, most locations outside the city have availability starting toward the end of September into October. At the Plainview location in Long Island, the next available slot isn't until December 3, 2020, nearly three months away.

"To me, it just looks like they're just trying to hold our money," Ferraro continued. "That's what it looks like." Ferraro drove from Brooklyn to Plainview to cash in on his winnings.

Other players are furious that privately-owned casinos are open while other state-run claim locations in the city are not. Deborah Armstead was one player who found out the hard way. The lottery service center inside the Resorts World Casino in Queens was closed when she went there to claim $2,500. She was not given a firm date for when the service center would be reopening despite the casino being open for business.

"It's unfair," Armstead began. "Cuomo, you need to do something about this. You open the casinos, and yet we still cannot cash our winning numbers. Now I have to go all the way to Schenectady to cash my ticket."

From New York City to Schenectady is about a 170-mile drive — that's three hours away, making it a round trip journey of more than 300 miles and six hours to claim her winnings.

"The Commission continues to examine how we can reestablish service within gaming facilities while minimizing novel coronavirus risk to both Lottery patrons and facility employees," the New York State Gaming Commission said in a statement. "We will finalize a process as soon as practicable. In the interim, Lottery Customer Service Centers throughout the state are open, albeit in a controlled atmosphere. The Centers accept guests on an appointment basis, with strict protocols regarding personal protective equipment and sanitation required to be observed by both patrons and Lottery personnel."

The Commission also emphasized that there are alternatives to in-person claims. While winning tickets worth less than $600 can immediately be claimed any official retailer, prizes greater than $600 can be claimed through the mail or at a service center drop box. However, there are many players who are uncomfortable with the mail-in and drop box options.

"I just don't trust the mail," Ferraro stated.

"I would never do the mail-in," Armstead said as well.

For now, winners looking to cash in on their prizes must decide whether they want to go on a long drive for an earlier appointment slot or potentially wait months until the next available time closer to home.

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24 comments. Last comment 4 days ago by Paulie bklyn.
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Chasing $ Millions.
White Shores- California
United States
Member #136473
December 12, 2012
6312 Posts
Offline

" "You win $900, you gotta wait four months for your money," player Pat Ferraro said outside the Plainview claim center. "It's crazy!"

 Try this on for size Pat.

 How long does it take to receive lottery winnings in California?

To collect your prize, just follow the simple claim process for the type of prize you won. After your claim is processed at Lottery Headquarters in Sacramento, you'll receive a check in the mail in about 6 to 8 weeks.  That's for the winning ticket of both the PB & MM jackpot.

Claim a Prize | California State Lottery

 * Voice of Reason *   

 

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

    Mommysb's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg
    100
    NYC
    United States
    Member #147398
    October 1, 2013
    13775 Posts
    Offline

    I live in Staten Island . During the pandemic , we submitted our ticket and received the check in a few weeks. It's the appointments and the "need" for instant money . 
    Three people also I knew sent it in via mail. IT WORKED! USPS is still the goat !!

      sam9009's avatar - bck
      25
      Brooklyn, NY
      United States
      Member #78505
      August 16, 2009
      31259 Posts
      Offline

      Seems like they're stalling. They can make it happen. They just prefer it this way. 

      6 months and still can't get organized. 

      Invictus maneo

        Avatar
        New Member

        United States
        Member #205573
        April 3, 2020
        9 Posts
        Offline

        I hit the New Jersey Lottery Pick 4 straight in May and submitted my claim form within two days by USPS overnight mail. I did not receive a check until the end of July. in the weeks in between, no one ever answered the lottery customer service number and no messages were ever returned. Emails were also not answered. So I had no way of knowing what was going on with my claim. I know COVID-19 played a big role in the delay, but nearly three months for payment is unacceptable when we must pay INSTANTLY anytime we play the New Jersey Lottery. And the Lottery should have perhaps hired temps to answer the phones to the many lottery players who I heard flooded the call center regarding their claims, so many that the Lottery posted on its website asking folks to email instead.

        Because the private company hired by New Jersey to operate the lottery cannot fully process payments - the money comes from the state and the state must actually process and payout claims - it usually takes about a month to get paid, far longer than any state lottery I know. In places like Delaware, D.C. and Maryland claims are paid the same day by check when you file a claim in person. Anyway, it seems that things are finally getting back to a reasonable time period for payment. I have mostly been playing multiple box Pick 4 tickets to avoid having to make a claim on a straight ticket even though it costs more than a fifty cents straight ticket. And although some might say at least the check is in the mail and you will get paid eventually, it really is not fair to us players who contribute millions to the lottery monthly to have to wait for weeks and weeks the few times that we are lucky to win an amount above $599.

          GiveFive's avatar - Lottery-026.jpg
          NY State
          United States
          Member #92605
          June 10, 2010
          4749 Posts
          Offline

          I hit the New Jersey Lottery Pick 4 straight in May and submitted my claim form within two days by USPS overnight mail. I did not receive a check until the end of July. in the weeks in between, no one ever answered the lottery customer service number and no messages were ever returned. Emails were also not answered. So I had no way of knowing what was going on with my claim. I know COVID-19 played a big role in the delay, but nearly three months for payment is unacceptable when we must pay INSTANTLY anytime we play the New Jersey Lottery. And the Lottery should have perhaps hired temps to answer the phones to the many lottery players who I heard flooded the call center regarding their claims, so many that the Lottery posted on its website asking folks to email instead.

          Because the private company hired by New Jersey to operate the lottery cannot fully process payments - the money comes from the state and the state must actually process and payout claims - it usually takes about a month to get paid, far longer than any state lottery I know. In places like Delaware, D.C. and Maryland claims are paid the same day by check when you file a claim in person. Anyway, it seems that things are finally getting back to a reasonable time period for payment. I have mostly been playing multiple box Pick 4 tickets to avoid having to make a claim on a straight ticket even though it costs more than a fifty cents straight ticket. And although some might say at least the check is in the mail and you will get paid eventually, it really is not fair to us players who contribute millions to the lottery monthly to have to wait for weeks and weeks the few times that we are lucky to win an amount above $599.

          The big problem players in New Jersey have is The State of New Jersey is broke. That's why it takes so long for you to get your money.  The other states you listed are in good shape financially, so they don't have a problem paying players quickly.  In New York, we have our own financial mess on our hands, I'm amazed that prior to the pandemic NY was able to pay big winners as quickly as they did.

          Players in Illinois (another state in total financial chaos) can tell you all about not being able to get their money.  That's an old sad story to them. G5

          Players who've won large lottery jackpots have something in common. Many of them say "I've played the lottery for years, but I never won anything but small prizes."   That's normal or typical, but it's also why you should not get discouraged and stop playing.  Who knows?  Maybe someday you'll say "I've played the lottery for years...."

            Avatar
            Simpsonville
            United States
            Member #163184
            January 22, 2015
            2257 Posts
            Offline

            COVID-19 or not, this IMHO is unacceptable.   Lottery should follow CDC guidelines and open the closer offices.    Heck even here in KY there are several places inside select convenience stores that are authorized to cash lottery tickets up to $5K.   By upstate are they referring to Albany?

              GiveFive's avatar - Lottery-026.jpg
              NY State
              United States
              Member #92605
              June 10, 2010
              4749 Posts
              Offline

              " "You win $900, you gotta wait four months for your money," player Pat Ferraro said outside the Plainview claim center. "It's crazy!"

               Try this on for size Pat.

               How long does it take to receive lottery winnings in California?

              To collect your prize, just follow the simple claim process for the type of prize you won. After your claim is processed at Lottery Headquarters in Sacramento, you'll receive a check in the mail in about 6 to 8 weeks.  That's for the winning ticket of both the PB & MM jackpot.

              Claim a Prize | California State Lottery

              I feel for you 'gate, but I've read that because MUSL is involved with MM and PB jackpot wins (MUSL has to get money from all of the other participating states so they can send it to the state where the jackpot winning ticket was sold) it's pretty much the same story as it is in California no matter which state you live in.

              The news story The LP has posted was broadcast by a CBS News New York City TV station last Friday.  I saw Pat Ferarro on my TV the night the story was aired.  The people who were interviewed for the story are PO'ed because they live in NYC and cant get their ticket cashed in NYC.  They either have to drive out on Long Island or 170 miles to Schenectady in upstate New York.

              Sure they could have used the drop box at the claim center or they can mail it in, but they refuse to do that.  I don't blame them.  Neither would I.  For me personally, I live in upstate NY, so a regional claim center is about 15 miles from my home.  But I'd still have to wait for an appointment at that claim center which I wont get until early December.  G5

              Players who've won large lottery jackpots have something in common. Many of them say "I've played the lottery for years, but I never won anything but small prizes."   That's normal or typical, but it's also why you should not get discouraged and stop playing.  Who knows?  Maybe someday you'll say "I've played the lottery for years...."

                GiveFive's avatar - Lottery-026.jpg
                NY State
                United States
                Member #92605
                June 10, 2010
                4749 Posts
                Offline

                COVID-19 or not, this IMHO is unacceptable.   Lottery should follow CDC guidelines and open the closer offices.    Heck even here in KY there are several places inside select convenience stores that are authorized to cash lottery tickets up to $5K.   By upstate are they referring to Albany?

                Not Albany, but Schenectady which is near Albany.  G5

                Players who've won large lottery jackpots have something in common. Many of them say "I've played the lottery for years, but I never won anything but small prizes."   That's normal or typical, but it's also why you should not get discouraged and stop playing.  Who knows?  Maybe someday you'll say "I've played the lottery for years...."

                  Avatar
                  New Member
                  NY, NY
                  United States
                  Member #182753
                  July 1, 2017
                  6 Posts
                  Offline

                  I don't trust the USPS or Cuomo for either  my winning Mega ticket nor my vote. I'd rather do both in person.

                    GiveFive's avatar - Lottery-026.jpg
                    NY State
                    United States
                    Member #92605
                    June 10, 2010
                    4749 Posts
                    Offline

                    The big problem players in New Jersey have is The State of New Jersey is broke. That's why it takes so long for you to get your money.  The other states you listed are in good shape financially, so they don't have a problem paying players quickly.  In New York, we have our own financial mess on our hands, I'm amazed that prior to the pandemic NY was able to pay big winners as quickly as they did.

                    Players in Illinois (another state in total financial chaos) can tell you all about not being able to get their money.  That's an old sad story to them. G5

                    In the above post, I wrote "The State of New Jersey is broke"...

                    To show you how bad the financial situation that The State of New Jersey has found itself in, consider this; 

                    The computers that actually perform the buying and selling of stocks (aka "transactions") that are listed on The New York Stock Exchange are not located in New York City. They're located in a datacenter in Mahwah, New Jersey.  Each business day, computer programs running on those computers perform billions of transactions. (The computers are an automated way of the matching of buyers with sellers and executing either a buy or a sell order)

                    Very recently an article appeared in The Wall Street Journal that said The New York Stock Exchange sent a memo to all of it's clients stating  they will be performing a test of their back up computers that are located in a datacenter in Chicago. On a Saturday in late September, the Chicago computers will take over and simulate a normal business day of trading that normally happens on a business day on the computers in Mahwah. This is known as a "disaster recovery test". Disaster Recovery tests like this are usually done to prove that if the Mahwah datacenter was unexpectedly knocked out by a hurricane, or if it caught fire and burned to the ground, a switch could be thrown to connect the NYSE to their back up Chicago computers, and the The Exchange could continue on operating as if nothing bad had happened to the datacenter in NJ.  But that's NOT the reason why The NYSE is doing this particular test.

                    The test is being done in response to proposed tax legislation that The The State of New Jersey is actively considering to be enacted into law. It seems that NJ is so desperate for money, that they are proposing to tax each and every one of those billions of transactions that happens every day on the computers located in Mahwah. In response, the NY Stock Exchange has told it's clients that they will not allow New Jersey to impose this tax on them.  Instead, The NYSE is telling it's clients that if NJ passes this legislation, the NYSE will abandon the datacenter in Mahwah, and re-locate the automated buying and selling of stocks to the computers located in Chicago to avoid NJ's tax altogether.

                    I don't think for one second that The NYSE is bluffing.  Do you?  G5

                    Players who've won large lottery jackpots have something in common. Many of them say "I've played the lottery for years, but I never won anything but small prizes."   That's normal or typical, but it's also why you should not get discouraged and stop playing.  Who knows?  Maybe someday you'll say "I've played the lottery for years...."

                      sam9009's avatar - bck
                      25
                      Brooklyn, NY
                      United States
                      Member #78505
                      August 16, 2009
                      31259 Posts
                      Offline

                      In the above post, I wrote "The State of New Jersey is broke"...

                      To show you how bad the financial situation that The State of New Jersey has found itself in, consider this; 

                      The computers that actually perform the buying and selling of stocks (aka "transactions") that are listed on The New York Stock Exchange are not located in New York City. They're located in a datacenter in Mahwah, New Jersey.  Each business day, computer programs running on those computers perform billions of transactions. (The computers are an automated way of the matching of buyers with sellers and executing either a buy or a sell order)

                      Very recently an article appeared in The Wall Street Journal that said The New York Stock Exchange sent a memo to all of it's clients stating  they will be performing a test of their back up computers that are located in a datacenter in Chicago. On a Saturday in late September, the Chicago computers will take over and simulate a normal business day of trading that normally happens on a business day on the computers in Mahwah. This is known as a "disaster recovery test". Disaster Recovery tests like this are usually done to prove that if the Mahwah datacenter was unexpectedly knocked out by a hurricane, or if it caught fire and burned to the ground, a switch could be thrown to connect the NYSE to their back up Chicago computers, and the The Exchange could continue on operating as if nothing bad had happened to the datacenter in NJ.  But that's NOT the reason why The NYSE is doing this particular test.

                      The test is being done in response to proposed tax legislation that The The State of New Jersey is actively considering to be enacted into law. It seems that NJ is so desperate for money, that they are proposing to tax each and every one of those billions of transactions that happens every day on the computers located in Mahwah. In response, the NY Stock Exchange has told it's clients that they will not allow New Jersey to impose this tax on them.  Instead, The NYSE is telling it's clients that if NJ passes this legislation, the NYSE will abandon the datacenter in Mahwah, and re-locate the automated buying and selling of stocks to the computers located in Chicago to avoid NJ's tax altogether.

                      I don't think for one second that The NYSE is bluffing.  Do you?  G5

                      Wow this is great info. Thanks.

                      Invictus maneo

                        Avatar
                        Simpsonville
                        United States
                        Member #163184
                        January 22, 2015
                        2257 Posts
                        Offline

                        In the above post, I wrote "The State of New Jersey is broke"...

                        To show you how bad the financial situation that The State of New Jersey has found itself in, consider this; 

                        The computers that actually perform the buying and selling of stocks (aka "transactions") that are listed on The New York Stock Exchange are not located in New York City. They're located in a datacenter in Mahwah, New Jersey.  Each business day, computer programs running on those computers perform billions of transactions. (The computers are an automated way of the matching of buyers with sellers and executing either a buy or a sell order)

                        Very recently an article appeared in The Wall Street Journal that said The New York Stock Exchange sent a memo to all of it's clients stating  they will be performing a test of their back up computers that are located in a datacenter in Chicago. On a Saturday in late September, the Chicago computers will take over and simulate a normal business day of trading that normally happens on a business day on the computers in Mahwah. This is known as a "disaster recovery test". Disaster Recovery tests like this are usually done to prove that if the Mahwah datacenter was unexpectedly knocked out by a hurricane, or if it caught fire and burned to the ground, a switch could be thrown to connect the NYSE to their back up Chicago computers, and the The Exchange could continue on operating as if nothing bad had happened to the datacenter in NJ.  But that's NOT the reason why The NYSE is doing this particular test.

                        The test is being done in response to proposed tax legislation that The The State of New Jersey is actively considering to be enacted into law. It seems that NJ is so desperate for money, that they are proposing to tax each and every one of those billions of transactions that happens every day on the computers located in Mahwah. In response, the NY Stock Exchange has told it's clients that they will not allow New Jersey to impose this tax on them.  Instead, The NYSE is telling it's clients that if NJ passes this legislation, the NYSE will abandon the datacenter in Mahwah, and re-locate the automated buying and selling of stocks to the computers located in Chicago to avoid NJ's tax altogether.

                        I don't think for one second that The NYSE is bluffing.  Do you?  G5

                        Read about it in the NY Times myself.   Did not know this and as a hobby investor found it very intriguing.   NYSE won't play hardball with NJ and why should they?  Just like when stationed @ Ft. Monmouth, NJ (had PCS'd to Ft. Knox later) CECOM rented out office space for a premium right outside the gate.  When BRAC came along the owners of the buildings offered to let CECOM stay for free, too much too little too late as the post closed.  I was MEDCOM but CECOM moved to a post in GA.

                          rcbbuckeye's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                          Texas
                          United States
                          Member #55887
                          October 23, 2007
                          10357 Posts
                          Offline

                          In the above post, I wrote "The State of New Jersey is broke"...

                          To show you how bad the financial situation that The State of New Jersey has found itself in, consider this; 

                          The computers that actually perform the buying and selling of stocks (aka "transactions") that are listed on The New York Stock Exchange are not located in New York City. They're located in a datacenter in Mahwah, New Jersey.  Each business day, computer programs running on those computers perform billions of transactions. (The computers are an automated way of the matching of buyers with sellers and executing either a buy or a sell order)

                          Very recently an article appeared in The Wall Street Journal that said The New York Stock Exchange sent a memo to all of it's clients stating  they will be performing a test of their back up computers that are located in a datacenter in Chicago. On a Saturday in late September, the Chicago computers will take over and simulate a normal business day of trading that normally happens on a business day on the computers in Mahwah. This is known as a "disaster recovery test". Disaster Recovery tests like this are usually done to prove that if the Mahwah datacenter was unexpectedly knocked out by a hurricane, or if it caught fire and burned to the ground, a switch could be thrown to connect the NYSE to their back up Chicago computers, and the The Exchange could continue on operating as if nothing bad had happened to the datacenter in NJ.  But that's NOT the reason why The NYSE is doing this particular test.

                          The test is being done in response to proposed tax legislation that The The State of New Jersey is actively considering to be enacted into law. It seems that NJ is so desperate for money, that they are proposing to tax each and every one of those billions of transactions that happens every day on the computers located in Mahwah. In response, the NY Stock Exchange has told it's clients that they will not allow New Jersey to impose this tax on them.  Instead, The NYSE is telling it's clients that if NJ passes this legislation, the NYSE will abandon the datacenter in Mahwah, and re-locate the automated buying and selling of stocks to the computers located in Chicago to avoid NJ's tax altogether.

                          I don't think for one second that The NYSE is bluffing.  Do you?  G5

                          I'm not a player in the stockmarket, but what I'm wondering is if Illinois (and Chicago) are in financial straits, the NYSE would be jumping from one building on fire to another one. Illinois would probably get the same bright idea from New Jersey?

                          Governments across the country (and the Feds) are getting desperate for money and running out of ways to get it aside from taxing everyone into poverty. Covid really jacked things up shutting down businesses, putting businesses out of business and people out of work. Lots of lost tax revenue.

                          CAN'T WIN IF YOU'RE NOT IN

                          A DOLLAR AND A DREAM (OR $2)

                            GiveFive's avatar - Lottery-026.jpg
                            NY State
                            United States
                            Member #92605
                            June 10, 2010
                            4749 Posts
                            Offline

                            I'm not a player in the stockmarket, but what I'm wondering is if Illinois (and Chicago) are in financial straits, the NYSE would be jumping from one building on fire to another one. Illinois would probably get the same bright idea from New Jersey?

                            Governments across the country (and the Feds) are getting desperate for money and running out of ways to get it aside from taxing everyone into poverty. Covid really jacked things up shutting down businesses, putting businesses out of business and people out of work. Lots of lost tax revenue.

                            The Illinois State Legislature certainly could get the same idea as New Jersey, and they might actually try to do the same thing as New Jersey. 

                            If that happened, my guess is The NYSE would look for a business friendly state with it's finances in order.  If the NYSE doesn't already have a datacenter in that state, they could build out a datacenter in the business friendly state, and move out of Illinois to their new datacenter.  Expensive, but very do-able.

                            The NYSE already has an existing backup datacenter in Chicago, and that's why they're saying they'll move out of Jersey to Chicago.  At present time, that's the most cost effective thing for them to do.  I'm willing to bet if Chicago got too expensive for The NYSE, they'd jump ship again to another state.  G5

                            Players who've won large lottery jackpots have something in common. Many of them say "I've played the lottery for years, but I never won anything but small prizes."   That's normal or typical, but it's also why you should not get discouraged and stop playing.  Who knows?  Maybe someday you'll say "I've played the lottery for years...."