There have been some changes in how you can play Powerball and claim prizes in Virginia due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Check out our dedicated coronavirus updates page for more details.

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Playing Powerball During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Coronavirus has severely affected everyone’s general life in the U.S., spreading to all 50 states and leading to more and more restrictions to try and stop Covid-19 from escalating. It has even had an impact on playing Powerball in a number of ways. Find out more about what is happening to the game during the current pandemic.

Will Powerball Drawings Continue As Scheduled?

Powerball drawings have so far continued as normal. The numbers are drawn at the Florida Lottery’s Tallahassee studio at 10:59PM EST every Wednesday and Saturday.

The schedule has remained the same ever since Powerball launched in April 1992, with two draws a week, and the plan is for the game to carry on that way. Any decision about changing the schedule or suspending draws will be taken by the member states of the Multi-State Lottery Association. Powerball.net will publish news of any major announcements.

Officials have also declared that the starting jackpot will be reduced from $40million to $20million the next time it is won and that the jackpot will increase by a minimum of $2million for each draw it is not won. This has been done to ensure that sufficient funding to states can occur whilst the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Will I Still Be Able To Buy Powerball Tickets?

Ticket sales will remain available for as long as draws continue. However, as the situation is moving so quickly, it may be that more and more lottery stores are shut for business. Extra restrictions may also be introduced along the lines of the lockdowns that have been seen in Europe and Asia, where people have only been allowed to leave home for essential supplies. The Puerto Rico Lottery has taken the decision to suspend ticket sales until further notice.

A number of state lotteries offer their players the option to choose numbers online. These are Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Texas. In New York and Virginia you can also subscribe online to buy tickets for multiple weeks at a time.

Playing online is an excellent option, especially at the current time when social contact is being discouraged. Your numbers are always safe online so you cannot possibly lose or damage your entry. You will also be notified automatically if you win.

Will I Still Be Able To Claim Powerball Prizes If I Win?

Claiming prizes is set to be the biggest issue for players while draws continue and tickets remain on sale. A number of states have closed their state lottery offices or changed their opening hours due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Other states are changing their claims process to restrict access to their claim centers or lottery offices. Each lottery has its own rules on receiving prizes, while the claim period also differs from state to state.

Apart from New Mexico, where the claim period is 90 days, the time you have to come forward in other states is between 180 days and a year.

The best way to claim prizes, and the one currently being recommended in most states, is to claim by mail. Go to the Participating States page to find out how to do this where you live.

If you have played online, prizes will be paid directly into your lottery account in most cases.

Which States Have Made Lottery Changes?

Find out which states have made changes due to coronavirus below:

  • Arizona- Lottery offices in Phoenix and Tucson are available for prize claims by appointment only
  • Arkansas- Public claim centers are closed
  • California- Governor Gavin Newsom has told residents in California to only leave their homes when completely necessary and that non-essential business’ close for 30 days, so it is likely that some disruption to the sale of lottery tickets and claiming prizes is imminent.
  • Colorado- Claims offices closed until further notice
  • Connecticut- Limited access to Rocky Hill headquarters
  • Delaware- Centers unable to cash lottery tickets
  • District of Columbia- Prize centers operating reduced hours
  • Florida- Lottery headquarters and all district offices are closed until further notice
  • Georgia- Headquarters and district offices closed until March 31
  • Idaho- Boise lottery office closed to the public
  • Iowa- Limited public access to lottery offices
  • Illinois- Claim centers closed until further notice
  • Indiana- Prize offices in Indianapolis, Mishawaka and Evansville are closed until further notice
  • Kansas- Claims center lobby closed until further notice
  • Kentucky- Lexingtoin claim center is closed
  • Louisiana- Lottery office claims are by appointment only
  • Maine- Lottery office in Hallowell closed for prize claims
  • Maryland- Lottery offices operating reduced hours
  • Massachusetts- Claims centers closed on March 19
  • Michigan- Regional offices have been closed
  • Mississippi- Change to prize claim guidelines
  • Missouri- Not allowing claims at lottery offices
  • Montana- Lottery lobby in Montana has been closed to the public
  • Nebraska- Regional claim centers closed until further notice. The headquarters in Lincoln and the Omaha claim center operating reduced hours
  • New Hampshire- The lottery sales office is for dropping off prize claims over $600 but is not selling tickets
  • New Jersey- Lawrence Township front office closed for walk in prize claims
  • New Mexico- Claim centers operating reduced hours
  • New York- Lottery regional customer service and claim centers are closed
  • North Carolina- Regional claim centers shut
  • Ohio- Closed regional calim centers
  • Oklahoma- The lottery claim center in Oklahoma City has been closed
  • Oregon- Salem headquarters temporarily closed
  • Pennsylvania- All lottery offices in the state are closed
  • Puerto Rico- Ticket sales suspended until further notice
  • Rhode Island- Prizes can now be claimed via mail
  • South Carolina- Claim center closed until further notice
  • South Dakota- Lottery offices closed until further notice
  • Tennessee- District offices operating reduced hours
  • Texas- Claim centers closed until further notice
  • Vermont- Office lobby operating reduced hours
  • Virginia- Closed lottery customer service centers
  • Washington- Headquarters and regional lottery offices are closed to the public
  • West Virginia- Charleston and Weirton validation offices have been closed
  • Wisconsin- Offices closed in Milwaukee
  • Wyoming- Lottery offices throughout the state are closed