Washington lottery sales probably due to COVID-19 entertainment doldrums

in Lottery

 

SEATTLE -- 

A lottery spokesperson tells us before the pandemic, lottery sales in Washington were around $15 million a week -- right now, they are hitting $20 million.

"We do suspect that it’s because there’s not a lot of entertainment options out there for people right now," says Kristi Weeks with the Washington State Lottery. "The bars are closed, the casinos are closed, the movies are closed...”

That's good news for your corner store selling tickets as they get a 5% commission every time you buy one. Last year, stores selling lottery tickets made a total of $40 million from lottery sales statewide.

"But the biggest beneficiary from our sales is education in the state of Washington," Weeks said. "We support college scholarships and also early childhood education."

Last year, that added up to $167 million for education.

If you do win a cash prize, there are changes right now to how you will get your money because of the closure of lottery offices. If you win $600 or less, you can get your money at a store. For more than $600, you will need to mail in your claim for a check.

"If you win a really big prize, over $100,000, we understand that you may not want to mail that into the office," Weeks said. "So we are asking people to call and make an appointment to come in and claim their prize over $100,000."

And the people running the lottery have a clear message about their games while so many people are facing financial hardship right now...

"We certainly do not ever expect people to use it as financial recovery or financial planning for long term," Weeks said. "But sure, if somebody buys a ticket and wins $1,000 or $10,000 it’s fun, it’s entertaining, it’s also helpful during this time period."

And you may be holding a million dollar winning ticket. We are told there is a ticket that was sold in Auburn on Nov. 23 that is about to expire. If that ticket is stashed away somewhere in your car or wallet, you could be $1.4 million richer, if you cash it in right away. The ticket expires on Wednesday.

The winning numbers were 02, 22, 30, 33, 45, and 47.

https://komonews.com/news/local/washington-lottery-sales-skyrocket-amid-covid-19-entertainment-doldrums