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You ask, we answer: Why hasn't the Pennsylvania Lottery been shut down due to COVID-19?

A spokesperson for the Lottery said there are no current plans to suspend operations, because its mission is to generate funding for programs that help PA seniors
Lottery Ticket

A viewer from Lititz, Lancaster County recently submitted the following question to FOX43:

"Why isn't the PA Lottery shut down? How many senior/vulnerable people are venturing out for the sole purpose of purchasing lottery tickets? They are putting themselves and others at risk. Surely this is not a life sustaining business."

FOX43 forwarded the question to Ewa Dworakowski, press secretary for the Pennsylvania Lottery. 

She responds:

"Because the Lottery’s mission is to generate funding for programs that benefit older Pennsylvanians, there are currently no plans to suspend operations. Many of the essential businesses that remain open, such as grocery stores, gas stations and pharmacies, are also Lottery retailers. That allows us to continue generating funding for property tax and rent rebates, prescription assistance, meals on wheels and other critical services that seniors depend on. That will especially be the case once this health pandemic is over.

"It’s also important to note that the Lottery is taking steps to comply with the governor’s guidance. The majority of Lottery employees are teleworking. 

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"Meanwhile, the Lottery is also taking precautions to ensure that employees who are responsible for packaging tickets and shipping them to retailers are taking the appropriate steps, including social distancing.

"Lottery players are reminded that they have the option to take advantage of playing PA Lottery online games at pailottery.com. This is another place where players can buy their Powerball® and Mega Millions® tickets without having to leave their homes. This is also another way people can support older Pennsylvanians during this challenging time."