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Playing Powerball During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Coronavirus has severely affected daily 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.

Powerball officials originally declared that the starting jackpot would be reduced from $40million to $20million due to a reduction in ticket sales and to make sure they could still provide funding to states whilst the pandemic continues. The rise in jackpots was also lowered to $2 million, but now officials have declared that they cannot establish a firm starting jackpot or rise in jackpot amount and this will instead depend on ticket sales and interest rates.

Will I Still Be Able To Buy Powerball Tickets?

Ticket sales will remain available for as long as draws continue and as long as the state lotteries believe they can safely provide the service to their players.

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- The Claim Center in Little Rock is open
  • California- District offices are open for claim by drop-off only
  • Colorado- Claims Centers are open by appointment only to pay out prizes of $600 or more
  • Connecticut- High Tier claim centers are open and claims at the Rocky Hill headquarters are also open in person
  • Delaware- Headquarters in Dover has reopened and cashing of tickets is by appointment only in Wilmington and Georgetown
  • District of Columbia- Prize centers reopened by appointent only
  • Florida- Offices are open by appointment only for claims of $5,000 and above. Other claims can be made by secure drop-box at the lottery headquarters
  • Georgia- Claim centers and lottery headquarters have reopened by appointment only
  • Idaho- Boise lottery office has reopened to the public
  • Iowa- Curbside claims are open at lottery offices at the headquarters in Clive
  • Illinois- Claim centers have reopened by appointment only
  • Indiana- Prize payment centers are open Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm
  • Kansas- The lottery office in Topeka is open by appointment only
  • Kentucky- Lexingtoin claim center is permanently closed, however prizes can be claimed at the Louisville headquarters by appointment only
  • Louisiana- Lottery office claims are by appointment only
  • Maine- The lottery office has moved to Augusta and claims can be made via secure drop-box or appointment
  • Maryland- Lottery offices operating reduced hours and customer centre in Baltimore is open by appointment only
  • Massachusetts- All claim centers are open on a regular 8:45am to 4:30pm schedule
  • Michigan- Regional offices are open by appointment only
  • Minnesota- Regional offices have reopened and the headquarters remains open. Appointments are encouraged but not required
  • Mississippi- Claim Center open 9:00am to 5:00pm. No claims will be processed after 4:30pm.
  • Missouri- All lottery offices have reopened for claims greater than $600 by appointment only
  • Montana- Lottery lobby in Montana has been closed to the public. Claims must be submitted by mail.
  • Nebraska-All claim centers have now re-opened
  • New Hampshire- Claim centers have reopened
  • New Jersey- The lottery claim office is now open by appointment only, however there is a drop box also available for prize claims
  • New Mexico- Claim centers operating reduced hours and headquarters in Albuquerque operating by appointment only
  • New York- Lottery regional customer service and claim centers are open by appointment only
  • North Carolina- Regional claim centers have reopened
  • Noth Dakota - The office in Bismarck is open for claims from 8:00am to 5:00pm
  • Ohio- All regional claim centers are closed until further notice
  • Oklahoma- The lottery claim center in Oklahoma City has been closed but prizes can be claimed by mail.
  • Oregon- Salem headquarters temporarily closed
  • Pennsylvania- All PA lottery offices are open by appointment only between 9:30am and 3:30pm.
  • Puerto Rico- Ticket sales were temporarily suspended but have now resumed
  • Rhode Island- Prizes can now be claimed via mail
  • South Carolina- A new drive-through claim option has been added to some lottery claim offices whilst the Columbia claim center has reopened
  • South Dakota- Lottery validation centers have reopened with limited capacity and limited opening hours
  • Tennessee- Claim centers are open for walk-on claims Monday through Friday 9:00am to 3:00pm
  • Texas- All claim centers around the state are open by appointment only
  • Vermont- Office lobby operating reduced hours and by appointment only
  • Virginia- Lottery customer centers have reopened with reserved time for vulnerable claimants
  • Washington- Lottery office in Olympia has reopened, whilst all others remain closed
  • West Virginia- Lottery offices have reopened
  • Wisconsin- Madison claim center has reopened by appointment only
  • Wyoming- Headquarters in Cheyenne is open by appointment only