How is the coronavirus crisis impacting lotteries around the world?

The world is currently in the grip of a global pandemic as Covid-19 continues to spread across continents. Businesses from all sectors are being affected by the virus, including the lotteries that operate across the world.

In Spain, one of the hardest hit countries in Europe, a countrywide lockdown prompted the state-owned lottery operator, Sociedad Estatal Loterías y Apuestas del Estado (SELAE), to suspend all ticket sales from mid-March. That included the sale of tickets at stores as well as online, and the payment of any prizes of less than €2,000 was halted. Meanwhile, all draws taking place from 16 March onwards were postponed indefinitely.

Elsewhere, most lotteries are continuing to run, but there have been some restrictions and changes applied. For example, in Italy, which has suffered the highest number of coronavirus-related deaths, the deadline for having to claim a prize has been suspended to allow any winners to come forward once the pandemic is over. This applies to SuperEnalotto, SiVince Tutto, Eurojackpot, Win for Life, and VinciCasa. SuperEnalotto and other online games will still be possible to play, but players have been urged to take part online from the safety of their own homes.

In Ireland, Lotto, EuroMillions and Daily Million draws continue, but to claim some prizes, appointments at the National Lottery headquarters in Dublin must be made. Any prizes up to and including €100 can still be claimed at National Lottery agent stores across the country, who are also allowed to pay higher prizes up to and including €2,500 at their own discretion. An Post Prize Claim Centres will continue to pay out winnings less than €15,000 too – but any prize higher than that total must be claimed, by appointment, from National Lottery HQ.

Outside Europe, most state lotteries continue to operate in the USA, but claim centres in Illinois and South Carolina, amongst others, have closed completely meaning some claims for larger winnings have to be made by mail or given in person when centres re-open. Claim centres in other states have either closed for a couple of weeks or have shortened their opening hours, with only the lottery in Puerto Rico completely ceasing operation as they have not had a functioning website since the island was wrecked by a hurricane in 2017.

In the UK, Camelot has said that all lotteries they operate will continue as normal and all can be played online. Given the current situation, this will be the easiest and safest way to play for most people. Stores that sell tickets and scratch cards remain open, but social distancing is being encouraged, which means there has never been a better time to open an online account.   

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Article Last Modified: Friday, 20 March 2020 10:10:36+00:00
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