COVID-19 in Philly: Pandemic affects sales of Lottery tickets

(c) JJ'Studio - Stock.Adobe.com

By

Sales of the Pennsylvania Lottery’s traditional products are down as the coronavirus pandemic continues, lottery spokeswoman Ewa Dworakowski said. As of Tuesday, she said preliminary data showed sales from scratch-offs and draw games are down roughly 25% since COVID-19 mitigation measures began.

“This is due in part to the fact that roughly 30% of the lottery’s network of approximately 9,800 retailers are closed,” Dworakowski said. Since many essential businesses that remain open such as grocery stores, gas stations and pharmacies are lottery retailers, however, she said that helps to continue to generate funds for programs that benefit older Pennsylvanians. These programs include property tax and rent rebates, prescription assistance, Meals on Wheels and other critical services. Dworakowski said the Pennsylvania Lottery’s online play is up about 30% since prior weeks, she said.

That doesn’t include Powerball or Mega Millions sales online, which are reported separately. She said the online sales of those games made up about 6% of the lottery’s overall Powerball and Mega Millions sales. Yet, traditional products remain the foundation of the lottery’s business, Dworakowski said. Nearly 70% of business comes from scratch-off sales, she said. “While we are happy to see that growth online, a majority of our sales still comes from our traditional games and it’s important to note that the increase in online sales is not enough to offset the sales the lottery has lost on the traditional side of the business,” Dworakowski said. The Pennsylvania Lottery’s offices are now closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a majority of the lottery’s staff is working remotely, she said. Claims are still being processed and players can still receive their prize checks, however.

Dworakowski encouraged players to sign their winning tickets, make a copy of them for their records and mail them to Pennsylvania Lottery, Attn: Claims, 1200 Fulling Mill Road, Suite 1, Middletown, PA 17057 to be processed. If players choose to wait until offices reopen to claim their prizes, she encouraged them to be mindful of the ticket expiration dates.