Can Hurricane Season Disrupt Lottery Drawings?

Friday September 15th 2017

Florida Lottery drawings have resumed after being temporarily suspended due to Hurricane Irma. Daily draws were put on hold last weekend as the huge storm approached the US coast, but games were able to start again by Tuesday.

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Players who had already purchased tickets for scheduled games on Sunday or Monday did not miss out, as make-up drawings were held as soon as possible. The order to halt daily drawings came directly from Gov. Rick Scott, and had the full support of the Florida Lottery.

Lottery Secretary Jim Poppell said at the time: “During this state of emergency, Governor Scott has made it clear that taking care of Florida's families is his top priority. We at the Florida Lottery share his passion and are doing all we can to ensure the community and our employees remain safe.” The executive order also warned that Department of Lottery offices in Tallahassee may be closed due to the hurricane.

Powerball drawings also take place in Tallahassee every Saturday and Wednesday night, and so far there has been no suggestion that Powerball could be disrupted by the hurricane season. However, with the possibility of more storms to come this year, lottery players down the Eastern seaboard could miss out on some games if officials such as Gov. Scott decide it is in the best interests of their state.

The full force of Hurricane Irma hit Florida on Sunday and forced many residents to flee the state, but one mom-of-three was able to return $10,000 richer after winning big on a scratch-off ticket. Tiffany Hatfield, from Ocoee near Orlando, evacuated with her kids and stopped off in a ‘middle of nowhere’ store in North Carolina on her way to Virginia.

She bought a $5 Diamond Dazzler scratch-off and was stunned to discover it was worth a five-figure sum. She told ABC News: “I was so scared I was going to lose that ticket. I kept it in my wallet right next to me and checked it on every minute. It’s still so crazy to me how it happened. It just wound up so perfect.”

Tiffany’s home suffered some minor damage and flooding during the storm and she plans to use some of her winnings to redecorate.

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