RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) – The Virginia Lottery is seeing less participation recently due to COVID-19’s impact on the economy.
Virginia Lottery spokesperson John Hagerty told News Channel 11’s Murry Lee that lottery participation is often a reflection of the economy.
“Most lottery sales are actually a spur-of-the-moment purchase, you know, if someone has some extra change at the check-out,” Hagerty said.
In the last week, the Virginia Lottery has recognized multiple Southwest Virginia residents who won 6-digit prizes playing lottery games.
Hagerty said the apparent surge in winners can be attributed to the reopening of the lottery’s customer service centers.
The customer service center in Abingdon closed on March 23 and just reopened on June 1, according to Hagerty.
Lottery players could still mail-in their winning tickets, but most players prefer to take them to the customer service centers in person.
According to Hagerty, while most of the stores where lottery tickets were sold remained open throughout the pandemic, a few did close temporarily.
The closures of these stores also contributed to the Virginia Lottery’s downturn in participation.
Hagerty said the Virginia Lottery is optimistic that sales and participation will increase as Virginia continues to reopen in phases.
“It’s a bit early to say, we don’t really have the numbers to quantify that, but we’re cautiously optimistic,” Hagerty said.
Continuing coverage of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
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