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Pennsylvania Lottery Upgrades Will Affect Ticket Purchases

James Chittick

The latest round of Pennsylvania lottery upgrades has been confirmed by officials as impacting players’ ability to buy tickets.

Starting on Monday, these upgrades include test environments, communications networks and back-office systems. The migration will last much of Tuesday, with officials announcing the purchase of game tickets will be affected.

Players have been encouraged to plan accordingly for the disruption. Although it will only take a day, there could be huge numbers unable to buy potential winning tickets during the transition.

In a statement, Secretary of Revenue and Pennsylvania Lottery Chief Pat Browne said: “The Pennsylvania Lottery is working to upgrade vending equipment, improve our technology, and debut many new features that will improve the playing experience for our players — and this upgrade is one part of that effort.

“We have a thorough plan in place to make sure next week’s transition to the new computer system has as little impact as possible for our players. This phase of our project is mainly taking place behind the scenes, but it’s a big move for us to improve our business, expand sales, and continue our mission of responsibly generating funding for programs that benefit older Pennsylvanians.”

Pennsylvania Lottery Upgrades Key Information

The system upgrade began at midnight on Monday, March 18 and will run until late in the day on Tuesday. The Lottery will update players via its website and social media channels.

While the upgrade takes place, drawings will still occur. However, players will be unable to purchase Fast Play or Draw Game tickets, either online or at retail locations.

Draw Games include Powerball, Mega Millions, Treasure Hunt, Cash 5 with Quick Cash, Match 6 Lotto, Cash4Life and the PICK group of games.

Players are therefore encouraged to buy tickets in advance. On top of this, the Lottery’s subscription option allows online players to purchase Draw Game tickets ahead of time.

Powerball drawings happen on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday nights. Mega Millions draws are on Tuesday and Friday, with those interested in either game strongly advised to buy tickets in advance. Scratch-off tickets will not be affected, and neither will eInstant online games.

Another issue for players is that winning tickets won’t be paid during this transition period. Scratch-off players are therefore encouraged to sign the back of their ticket and keep them until the upgrade is complete.

No vouchers will be redeemable, and some results may not be posted until the changes finish.

Winning claims have been taking longer to process due to the changes, but processing times should return to normal next month.

Lottery Changes Have Already Started

The modernization project began with upgrading vending equipment at retail locations. Much of this has already been rolled out, with players benefiting from more inventory in the new equipment.

Transitioning to new systems will take place mostly behind the scenes. But further enhancements are expected, with officials hoping to improve the experience for players.

Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko said: “All of these efforts will help the Lottery operate more efficiently, improve the playing experience for our players, and help us generate funding for the critical programs that our older residents rely upon,

“Our team is very passionate about responsibly providing entertainment options for our players. We are hard at work to make sure that we keep this momentum going and build on our success.”

Further information on the changes and upgrades can be found at: palottery.com/upgrade.

James Chittick
James Chittick