New Zealand Lotto Draws Continue Online During Lockdown
Lotto NZ officials have announced that all retail points of sale will be closed from 11.59pm on Wednesday night due to the coronavirus outbreak, but draws will continue and players will have to take part online.
Covid-19 has affected countries around the world and even had an impact on many lotteries, with Italy and Spain shutting down their games to help combat the spread of the virus.
In New Zealand, a state of emergency has been declared and the nation’s alert level is to be increased to 4, effectively putting everyone under lockdown so they can only leave the house for essential work or supplies.
Lotto NZ has issued a statement in support of the government’s response to the crisis and vowed to do its bit by making retail purchases unavailable until further notice. This includes lottery counters in those stores that remain open, including pharmacies, petrol stations and supermarkets.
However, CEO Chris Lyman has insisted that games will still take place as scheduled. Rather than buy tickets from retailers, you will just have to play online. This is also a much safer method at the current time and you will be automatically notified if you win a prize.
The decision to carry on with draws has been made so that the lottery can continue to fund good causes in the community, as well as Sport New Zealand, NZ Film Commission and Creative New Zealand.
“By operating online during the lockdown period we can continue to provide funding to New Zealand communities, many of which will need it now more than ever,” said Lyman.
“We know some of our customers will be disappointed they won’t be able to purchase tickets in-store during Alert Level 4, but like other businesses we have had to adapt during these unprecedented times.”
How Draws Will Be Changing
Following the Lotto draw on 25th March, all future draws will be conducted by a random number generator rather than a mechanical ball machine. Lotto NZ already runs computer-generated draws for the daily Keno and Bullseye games, while it previously used this system for Lotto, Powerball and Strike on 26th October 2019 when there was a fire at the Sky City Convention Centre in Auckland.
With lottery stores closing, you will also be unable to claim prizes in-store at the current time. Lotto NZ has reminded players that tickets do not expire for 12 months after a draw takes place, so you will not miss out on any prizes.