The doors are finally open.
This week, the Florida Lottery offices reopened after a nearly six-month closure amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lottery’s communications department noted in the press release:
“As the lottery continues to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak, we are taking necessary precautions to keep employees, players, retailers and vendors as safe as possible. In following local county and/or city ordinances, players must wear a face covering and submit to a mandatory health screening in accordance with DOH and CDC guidelines prior to entering a lottery office.”
Specific rules for visits
Whereas customers claiming prizes before the pandemic could visit a local office anytime during normal business hours, the rules are different now.
Firstly, all visits are appointment-only; the offices do not accept walk-ins. Appointments are available from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Lottery offices are reserving the first hour of the day for Florida Lottery players who are 65 or older, and for those customers who have “serious underlying medical conditions.”
Furthermore, the FL Lottery is asking winners to attend their appointment alone rather than bringing a guest. The only exception is for those who need another person with them to provide medical assistance.
Players can set up their appointments via the Florida Lottery website.
Options for submitting winning tickets
Per the Florida Lottery’s rules, how you submit your winning ticket or scratch-off depends on the amount of your prize:
- $599 and less: Walk it into a Florida Lottery retailer.
- $600 to $4,999: Mail to any Florida Lottery office or drop it into a drop box at Florida Lottery offices.
- $5,000 to $249,999: Make an appointment at a Florida Lottery office.
- $250,00 and higher: Make an appointment at the Florida Lottery’s Tallahassee headquarters.
The Florida Lottery has offices in the following cities:
- Fort Myers
- West Palm Beach
Florida Lottery encourages customers to be safe
In addition to announcing its limited opening, the Florida Lottery encourages players to take certain steps to protect themselves:
- Don’t go to retailers solely to buy lottery tickets.
- Use the lottery’s Advance Play option when purchasing draw tickets.
- Check your tickets with the Florida Lottery app’s scan feature.
- Practice social distancing when you go out to buy a ticket.
“The lottery urges players to protect themselves and others … by washing hands, social distancing, wearing a mask, and protecting the vulnerable,” the statement said.
Office opening caps eventful summer
The Florida Lottery’s limited opening is another flash of good news for Floridians.
Earlier this summer, the lottery announced the launch of its revamped app, through which players can check for winnings via a scan feature and enter second-chance drawings.
The Florida Lottery released several new instant-win games over the past few months, including Monopoly Bonus Spectacular. The Monopoly-themed scratch-off offers more than $300 million in cash prizes as well as second-chance drawings with prizes of up to $20,000.