The Pennsylvania Lottery drawing staff is being recognized as unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A group of six full time and five part-time employees adapted to make sure that daily drawings would continue through the pandemic.
Drawing officials work 7 days a week and through holidays because the drawing has to be done every day of the year. Pandemic or no pandemic.
“It was a little scary at times and a little lonely at times, but we worked through it. We have the six of us, so we’re close and we relied on each other.” said Deb Armstrong, PA Lottery Drawing Official.
“It was scary because we didn’t really know what was happening, because it was a pandemic, an unknown pandemic, and we hadn’t had a pandemic in 100 years.” said Dominique Lee, PA Lottery Drawing Official.
The Drawings Staff had to ensure social distancing guidelines, mask wearing, and other safety protocols were followed.
“The team worked together, we were able to come up with ways to keep everybody safe and still get the job done.” said Rachel Feitelson, PA Lottery Drawings Manager.
Officials had to go through all of the claims paperwork after the drawings, because they were coming in through the mail at the time.
“We would spend about two hours a day, after the day draw and before the evening draw, just going through the numerous claims, mail-in and scratch offs and instant tickets that people had sent in and were winners.” said Hal Kramer, PA Lottery Drawing Official.
The lottery anticipates more than $1.3 billion will be going to programs that support older Pennsylvanians. This includes free rides and meals.
As of Friday, the lottery projects that traditional sales will be more than $5 billion for the fiscal year, which ends on June 30th.
Online games will surpass $900 million this fiscal year as well.