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NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Lottery is temporarily closing its in-person prize claim centers at its Nashville headquarters as well as its district offices across the state amid the COVID-19 crisis.
But winners of less than $600 can still claim their cash prizes at retailer locations, officials said.
And anyone who wins $600 or more isn't entirely out of luck when it comes to claiming a prize, although it will take longer: Lottery officials say those winners can mail those winning tickets to the lottery headerquarters. The same applies to those winning prizes less than $600, as well.
Tennessee Education Lottery CEO Rebecca Hargrove said the move stems from general provisions in Gov. Bill Lee's Executive Order 17, as well as in directives issued by Metro Nashville Mayor John Cooper.
District offices are are tentatively scheduled to resume normal business operations on April 6.
"The most important thing right now is for all our players to take the appropriate precautions to stay safe and healthy," Hargrove said in a news release. "Players with winning tickets can rest assured their prizes will be paid if postmarked prior to the end of the claim expiration period."
Players should remember to sign the back of their tickets. And lottery officials also suggest winners may want to use registered mail when mailing claims.
Winners mailing in claims for draw-style games must have them postmarked within 180 days of the official winning draw date for that ticket.
Mail-in claims for instant games must be postmarked within 90 days of the announced instant game end date. Players should visit tnlottery.com for additional details.
Drawings will continue as scheduled, and instant ticket games will continue to be delivered to retailer locations. By law, the prize expiration date cannot be extended.
A claim form is not required for claims of prizes less than $600 made by mail. Players should sign the back of the ticket and include their name and address either on the ticket or on a separate piece of paper, lottery officials say.
While claim centers are closed, prizes of $600 or more must be claimed by mailing in the signed winning ticket with a completed claim form to P.O. Box 290636, Nashville, TN, 37229-0636.
Contact Andy Sher at email@example.com or 615-255-0550. Follow him on Twitter @AndySher1.