Coronavirus: Lotto to continue but with only ticket purchases only

Author
Luke Kirkness, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 25 Mar 2020, 5:55PM
(Photo / Supplied)
(Photo / Supplied)

Coronavirus: Lotto to continue but with only ticket purchases only

Author
Luke Kirkness, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 25 Mar 2020, 5:55PM

Lotto will go ahead despite the nation entering lockdown to try and stop the spread of coronavirus, but there would be no in-store sales.

The live Lotto draw would go ahead as usual tonight, with people still able to head in to stores and buy tickets.

However, from 11.59pm tonight Lotto retail stores would be closed until the alert level four lockdown has been lifted by the Government.

Tickets during the lockdown would only be able to be bought online.

There were 50 new cases of Covid-19 announced in New Zealand this afternoon, with the combined total of confirmed and probable cases being 205.

The draw tonight for Powerball was worth a grand total of $6 million, with Lotto worth $1m and Strike $200,000.

Lotto New Zealand chief executive Chris Lyman was aware the decision to stop selling tickets in-store would be upsetting for many.

"But like other businesses we have had to adapt during these unprecedented times," he said.

"By operating online during the lockdown period we can continue to provide funding to New Zealand communities, many of which will need it now more than ever."

Meanwhile, from Thursday Lotto would not be able to conduct live draws while the country is in lockdown.

Therefore computer-generated draws would be run, with the winning Lotto, Powerball and Strike numbers scrutinised by Audit New Zealand.

The system was used daily for the Keno and Bullseye games and was used for a Lotto draw on October 29 because of the SkyCity Convention Centre fire.

Prizes would not be able to be claimed in-store either, with any future winners asked to hold on to their winning tickets.

Winners were told to write their details on the ticket, then put it away in a safe place as the physical ticket would be needed to claim the prize once stores reopened.

Tickets are valid for 12 months, so there would be plenty of time to claim a prize.

The most important thing was for Kiwis to follow the Government's advice on Covid-19 and to prevent face-to-face contact to keep retailers and customers alike safe, Lyman said.

"Never has there been such an important time for Kiwis to help other Kiwis."