Lottery Adjusts Prize Payment Process Amid COVID-19 Office Closures
With its six regional prize payment offices closed to the public since March 24 due to stay-at-home orders, the Lottery has devised a temporary solution to help winners claim large prizes during the current health crisis.While winning tickets of $600 or less can be claimed at any Lottery retailer who is able to pay the prize, larger prizes were required to be claimed in person or by mail with an original ticket.However effective May 1, 2020, players who win $5,000 or less on any Louisiana based draw-style game ticket (including Lotto, Easy 5, Pick 3 and Pick 4) or scratch-off ticket will have the option to mail in photocopies of their winning tickets to be paid under an emergency rule change instituted by the Lottery."Our players have been extremely patient, holding on to large winning tickets while our offices have been closed," noted Lottery President Rose Hudson. "We recognize that players with tickets winning large prizes have been hesitant to mail those in for fear they could be lost. We are so pleased that this rule change will allow them to be paid in a timelier manner and with peace of mind."In order to take advantage of this new prize payment option for winning tickets of $5,000 or less, players should sign and complete the information on the back of their winning ticket and ensure that all barcodes are clearly visible (latex completely removed from scratch-off tickets). A photocopy of the front and back of the ticket should accompany a completed Louisiana Lottery Prize Claim Form that includes the winner’s telephone number and mailing address for their prize check, as well as a photocopy of the winner’s valid driver’s license or current picture identification. The above should be sent in a single envelope to: Louisiana Lottery Corporation, Attn: Prize Validations, P.O. Box 90010, Baton Rouge, LA 70879-0010.Players who mail in their claims using this new option are advised to retain their original ticket in the event there is an issue with delivery. In addition, the Lottery reserves the right to require an original ticket if there is a question regarding the claim. Winning tickets can only be claimed once, and after a prize is paid on a photocopied ticket, the original is no longer valid for prize payment.Based on multistate game rules, original winning tickets are still required to claim all Powerball and Mega Millions prizes. The option to claim by mail using photocopied tickets does not apply to winning tickets from these games. Also, original tickets are required to claim prizes on tickets for any game winning more than $5,000.In such cases where an original winning ticket is required, the Lottery will make prize payment appointments for these winners by emailing the Lottery at firstname.lastname@example.org.These emergency prize claim procedures will remain in effect until the Lottery claims offices are deemed fully functional. Also, players holding winning tickets with prizes that were set to expire March 24 – May 15, 2020 will now have until Aug. 15, 2020 to claim their prize."We recognize and regret the inconvenience these operational adjustments may cause our players and retailers," Hudson added. "In these uncertain times, the ultimate goal must be the safety and welfare of our entire Louisiana community."The Lottery will continue to monitor state and federal officials for new information on how to proceed and will be communicating our plans to resume reopening as the situation changes.