Which Lotteries Have Been Affected by Coronavirus?
As the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on everyday life continues, many lotteries around the world have been disrupted. Lotto.net examines which games have been suspended or changed their rules in light of the restrictions that have been imposed due to Covid-19.
Draws are continuing in the U.S. and Canada, but changes have been made to how you can claim prizes in the majority of jurisdictions. Most state lotteries have urged players to redeem their winnings by mail or arrange an appointment if they need to be seen in person. Many claim centres have either been temporarily closed or are operating under reduced hours.
The starting jackpot for Powerball has been lowered from $40 million to $20 million, while the minimum increase between draws will be $2 million rather than $10 million. These updates have been made to ensure that the game can go on as scheduled and keep raising money for good causes in participating states. With ticket sales in decline, the $40 million minimum jackpot and $10 million minimum roll could not be guaranteed.
Europe has become the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak as time has gone on, with Spain and Italy hit particularly hard. In Italy, SuperEnalotto has been suspended until further notice. The final draw before it was stopped came on Saturday 21st March.
It is therefore not possible at the moment to purchase entries in Italy for SuperEnalotto or a number of other games, including Eurojackpot. However, Eurojackpot draws are still taking place as the lottery is staged in Finland and there are a total of 18 participating countries.
Lotteries have also been suspended in Spain, with domestic draws on hold and tickets currently unavailable. The claim period for prizes has also been frozen, though, so players do not need to worry about missing out on any money they are due from previous tickets. The claim period will resume when the state of alarm in Spain is over.
A number of EuroMillions countries, including France and Belgium, have also extended their claim periods to help players. EuroMillions is drawn in France and is scheduled to carry on every Tuesday and Friday, but limits have been introduced as to how far in advance you can take part because of uncertainty over what may happen. You can only enter draws up to and including Tuesday 14th April.
In Australia, draws are still taking place as normal as the country is not completely locked down like many other places in the world. However, everyone has been told about the importance of social distancing and should play online if they can rather than purchase tickets from retailers. The New South Wales lottery office has also been closed to the public as a precaution after someone in the building tested positive for coronavirus.
Lottery players in New Zealand can no longer purchase tickets from retailers for games such as Lotto and Powerball. With a state of emergency declared in the country, you will have to take part online. Draws are still taking place but are now being conducted by a random number generator instead of a mechanical ball machine.
South African draw games such as Powerball, Lotto and Daily Lotto are unaffected, with draws still happening and tickets still on sale. The only games that have been suspended have been Sportstake 8 and Sportstake 13 due to a lack of football fixtures.
Lottery operator Ithuba’s headquarters and regional offices have been shut down temporarily so you won’t be able to claim prizes in person at the current time. You should keep tickets safe as prizes do not expire for 365 days.
Rest of the World
Some Brazilian games have been suspended but Mega Sena is still going. Elsewhere, various lotteries have been stopped in Mexico, Argentina and Colombia. In Asia, all Indian draws have been suspended, along with Hong Kong’s Mark Six.
In China, where the virus originated, life is starting to return to normal as restrictions are eased. Lottery operations had been suspended but have now resumed across most parts of the country, even in Hubei province.
How to Play During the Pandemic
While some lotteries have been suspended, other games are potentially in danger of being called off and social contact is being discouraged virtually everywhere, you can still take part online. This is the safest way to enjoy lotteries and also means that you will be notified when you win so you do not have to go out to claim prizes. Visit the Lotto Tickets page to choose numbers online.