Good Question: How Will A Shutdown Affect Lotteries?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There have been reports on the many things you may have to give up if Minnesota’s state government is forced to shut down for lack of a budget. So, is striking it rich through the lottery another one?

If there is a shutdown, the jackpot amounts on lottery signs will disappear, but not all of the lottery’s operations will go dark. Lotto drawings will still be held for the online games Powerball, Mega Millions, Hot Lotto, Gopher 5, Northstar Cash and Daily 3.

The Minnesota Lottery said it feels it has an obligation to honor the tickets already sold for those drawings. Lottery Executive Director Clint Harris said it is also safest for the complicated computer system to keep it up and running.

“Our computers are designed to be working all the time, so if we had to do a shutdown it could be devastating for us,” said Harris.

However, lottery players will not be able to buy or cash in online or scratch-off tickets. Retailers’ lottery terminals will be shut off in the event of a government shutdown, preventing vendors from printing or scanning tickets of any type. Harris said retailers will lose an average of $200 a week in commissions on lottery ticket sales.

The state stands to lose much more if lottery revenue ceases to flow. Harris said the Environmental Trust Fund will forfeit $86,000 a day. The general fund will likely miss out on $185,000 a day. Revenues earmarked for game and fish and natural resource programs will lose tens of thousands of dollars a day, as well.

Players used to wagering regularly on favorite lotto numbers can purchase them for future drawings before Friday, July 1 on a paper play slip or through the lottery’s online subscription service.

For more information, the lottery website has a list of common questions about the shutdown.

  • Jake

    OMG, if nobody can play the lottey, will the world end, as we know it???

  • Just Cause

    I love that the shutdown will impact a lot more people, it’s a trivial thing but as it impacts people across the full economic spectrum it will generate the most complaints. People that buy on a regular basis won’t be going to the stores so foot traffic at those stores will go down as well as sales.

    • U Betcha

      What are stores government run? You make no sense at all, the shutdown will not affect me.

      • Just Cause

        It seems you can’t or didn’t read it, I didn’t state it would impact everyone. If you don’t buy lottery tickets and you don’t own a store that sells lottery tickets this part of the shutdown won’t impact you.

        • Me, not you

          Correct. I have lottery Tuesday and Friday. Go to Cub, buy the tickets, pick up lunch and whatever else we may need, cereal, milk, etc.

          • Just Cause

            So come Friday, if the shutdown happens, the lotto computer terminals will be disabled, so there will be no new sales of scratch-off/print tickets or redemptions of winning tickets.

  • Monkey

    Not many people actually win the lottery games anyway. The odds on these games are criminal. It’s just another backdoor tax. I like the idea of a lottery, but the odds are stacked in the states favor.

    I noticed that this article didn’t mention how much is going to be saved from not having to pay salaries, promotions, advertisements and paper.

    Anyway, this is a good time for people to consider quitting gambling and start saving gradually, their odds are betting at getting rich slowly than this rigged scam

    • Harvey

      Are you too lazy to go to the lottery website and look u[p the information yourself?

  • SMH456

    f*** you rich people. i dont like lotterys or gambling but some certin people need some help from the state goverment, alot people are gunna starve n be homeless. were not like those stuck up rich people that can afford things.

    • Looking for Leaders

      You should really take that anger and use it to make sure in the next election and the election after that all the Republicans get voted out.

      I can understand peoples desire to keep the money they earn, but what I can’t understand is how a group of people claiming to be Judeo-Christians can be so greedy as to turn their backs on the weakest and the poorest. People should be ashamed of themselves.

      • George Washington

        You should stop looking for leaders and spend more time looking for public servants Bill Clinton wasted alot of time soiling that dress, when he could of been doing a fundraiser or charity event for poor people.

        • Looking for Leaders

          See that sounds like shame redirected as anger, I understand your self-hatred.

        • Howard Taft

          Better soiling a dress than mutilating and killing the youth of America looking for WMDs that they knew did not exist.

          • Bobber

            Howard Taft would rather kill them at a Planned Parenthood clinic.

      • Sick of Entitled people.

        Maybe SMH456 should take that anger and look for a job and stop blaming rich people for what they have earned. How stupid it is to blame someone that has earned the right to be rich. So much for being a Free American..

        • Looking for Leaders

          “Sick of Entitled people”, which entitled people?
          – those physical unable to work?
          – those mentally unable to work?
          – those unemployed due to corporate cutbacks?
          – those homeless children?

          It’s funny that people walk around beating their chest, stating this is the greatest country in the world and yet, we can’t manage to help the poorest and the weakest.

          A country that once lived by “Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”, now turns around and states please leave, we don’t want you unless your rich, athletic, gifted or have a Masters Degree.

          How low we’ve sunk, how ashamed we should be….

  • tuna-free dolphin

    So the cradle to grave entitlement crowd won’t get to play the lotto. Sniff-sniff. It’s breaking me up inside. Personally, I think if you get any type of government assistance, it should be illegal to play the lotto. I also think people should have to carry a card proving you’re not on any government assistance like food stamps, unemployment, rental assistance, welfare, SS disability or whatever in order to buy alcohol, cigarettes, pulltabs, or even walk into a casino. I’m sick of funding the crap these people do when they’re on the dole. It’s especially annoying for those of us who work hard and can’t afford to waste our own money on lotto tickets or pull tabs or smokes. If you can’t afford to live without help from the government, you sure shouldn’t wasting the money working people are giving you to gamble, smoke, and drink. And passing a drug screening urine test is definitely something we should be looking at for anyone to get any type of assistance. This would help these people get serious about getting their life together. Then they can get off assistance and play the lotto with their own cash, not mine. I’m tired of funding the vices of the people riding in the wagon while I’m trying to pull it.

  • Retired Ron

    What a dumb move, probably the only State function that actually makes money, hundreds of thousands a day, and they are going to shut it down. Pretty amazing, the way the politicians are playing with your mind on this shutdown thing. Personally, I’d like to see a complete shutdown and see who can out-wait who, the taxpayers or the “public servants”.

    • Kevin

      Agreed, this is as dumb as forcing Canterbury and Running Aces to close. They are profitable ventures for the state — the last thing they should do is shut down something that generates income.

  • Sally

    I’m very, very poor

    Playing the numbers is the only way I have a chance to make it.

    mark dayton is taking away my hope of becoming rich like him.

    why does mark dayton hate us poor people?

  • Going down

    Tell the republican to get moving, sign the petition

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