Government shutdown halted Minnesota LotteryWednesday July 6th 2011
From 11.59pm on Thursday the current government shutdown halted the Minnesota Lottery as well as many other state services. The lottery offices all closed at 5pm on Thursday and will not re-open until the state budget crisis is resolved. Unfortunately this means that no Minnesota Lottery tickets can be sold, paid out or validated until further notice. The shutdown also affects second chance drawings for the Minnesota Lottery.
The advice to all players who hold winning tickets for any of the Minnesota Lottery games is to sign them immediately and keep them in a safe place until normal service resumes and they can then be presented in the normal way. Those holding scratch off lottery tickets that are eligible for second chance drawings should also keep these tickets safe too. Again, once the Minnesota Lottery resumes operations, these second chance tickets can then be entered in the normal way.
Ticket sales from retailers will also resume once again at this time, but Minnesota Lottery players will not be able to participate in any lottery games until further notice.
There is no immediate resolution in sight for the crisis as officials work to resolve the dispute over state spending and taxes. However, until the states $5 million deficit is resolved, lottery games and other state services which include public areas such as parks, zoo’s and services for the elderly will remain closed.
Like many states, Minnesota relies heavily on the revenue generated from the lottery and if not resolved quickly, the shutdown will only help to bolster the deficit even further as no income will be generated from lotto ticket sales.
Written by Brett Levenson