Weeks after a cybersecurity incident at the Ohio Lottery made it next to impossible to cash in winning tickets over $599, the Lottery said all options are again available.
The downside is that The Ohio Lottery confirmed that an unauthorized third-party likely gained access to customer and retailer information.
The Lottery announced on Jan. 10 that it resumed allowing players to cash in winning tickets for $599, weeks after the agency fell victim to a Dec. 24 "cybersecurity incident" where hackers may have accessed retailer and customer information.
The incident meant many players couldn't cash in tickets at Ohio casinos, racinos and all of its "Super Retailers," leaving big lottery winners in a lurch.
For weeks, the only way to claim a winning prize meant mailing a ticket to the Ohio Lottery Central Office in Cleveland or through a digital claims form. It also meant the winning numbers for KENO and Lucky One and the updated EZPLAY Progressive jackpots were not available.
The incident didn't impact any Ohio Lottery games or the technology systems on which the Lottery operates, which meant playing games after the incident remained safe, according to Lottery officials.
An investigation has yet to reveal any person or group responsible for gaining access to The Ohio Lottery's system, according to Lottery officials.
The Ohio Lottery advised customers and retailers to monitor their credit for identity theft or potential fraud, given that it was unclear whether the person or group behind the hack utilized anyone's personal information.
It also advises people to take steps to protect themselves by placing a fraud alert or freeze on their credit through the three major credit-reporting bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
"While the investigation continues, we advise all our valued customers and retailers to exercise caution when it comes to their credit," the Lottery wrote in a statement.
According to a release issued on Friday, Ohio Lottery winners can claim prizes in the following ways:
- Prizes up to $599 may be cashed at any Ohio Lottery Retailer location.
- Prizes up to $25,000 can be cashed by using the mobile cashing feature available through the mobile app or at one of the State’s seven racinos.
- Prizes up to $5,000 can be cashed at Super Retailer locations or at an Ohio Lottery Regional Office in the form of a pre-paid debit card.
- In addition, any prize claims may also be filed in an Ohio Lottery regional office or mailed to the Ohio Lottery Central Office.
"The investigation into the cybersecurity incident that occurred on December 24, 2023, is ongoing, and the State wants to reiterate that if any consumer data was compromised, it will take all measures to assist with credit monitoring to protect Ohioans. We will notify all known affected individuals as quickly as possible and in accordance with applicable laws," the lottery added in its release.