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.

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. 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- All lottery district offices are closed
  • Colorado- Claims offices closed until further notice
  • Connecticut- High Tier claim centers are open and claims at the Rocky Hill headquarters are by appointment only
  • Delaware- Centers unable to cash lottery tickets
  • District of Columbia- Prize centers reopened by appointent only
  • Florida- Lottery headquarters and all district offices are closed until further notice
  • 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 closed again to be reopened soon
  • Indiana- Prize offices are back open for winners who have called to make an appointment
  • 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- Lottery office in Hallowell closed for prize claims
  • Maryland- Lottery offices operating reduced hours and customer centre in Baltimore is open by appointment only
  • Massachusetts- Springfield and Woburn claim centers are open for claims up to $5,000 whilst Braintree, Dorchester, New Bedford and Worcester can process claims above this amount. All centers are by appointment only
  • Michigan- Regional offices are open by appointment only
  • Minnesota- Regional offices have reopened and the headquarters remains open
  • Mississippi- Change to prize claim guidelines and extended hours
  • 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
  • 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 and headquarters in Albuquerque operating by appointment only
  • New York- Lottery regional customer service and claim centers are closed
  • North Carolina- Regional claim centers have reopened
  • Ohio- Closed regional calim centers
  • Oklahoma- The lottery claim center in Oklahoma City has been closed
  • Oregon- Salem headquarters temporarily closed
  • Pennsylvania- Lottery offices in Pittsburgh, Clearfield and Erie have reopened by appointment only
  • Puerto Rico- Ticket sales suspended until further notice
  • 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
  • South Dakota- Lottery validation centers have reopened with limited capacity and limited opening hours
  • Tennessee- All claim centers and headquarters are operating as normal
  • Texas- all claim centers around the state will re-open by appointment only
  • Vermont- Office lobby operating reduced hours
  • Virginia- Lottery customer centers have reopened
  • 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- Headquarters in Cheyenne is open by appointment only