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New Computer System, Data Centers for Pennsylvania Lottery

Pennsylvania Lottery upgrades also include test environments, communications networks and back-office systems, in a migration starting late Monday and lasting much of Tuesday. The purchase of many game tickets will be impacted.

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(TNS) — Pennsylvania Lottery officials on Friday said the transition to its new system will impact players' ability to buy certain tickets and cash winning tickets — players are encouraged to plan accordingly and buy tickets in advance.

With the Pennsylvania Lottery prepared to upgrade next week to a new computer system, Lottery officials said the transition is expected to take less than one day.

"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," said Secretary of Revenue Pat Browne, who heads the Pennsylvania Lottery, a bureau within the Department of Revenue. "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."

Here is what players need to know about the planned computer system upgrade:

  • The system upgrade is scheduled to start after midnight on Monday, March 18. It is expected this transition will take until late into the day on Tuesday, March 19. The Lottery will post updates on its website and social media channels to inform players when this work is complete.

  • During this time period, drawings will still occur, but players won't be able to buy any Fast Play tickets or Draw Game tickets at Lottery retail locations or online. Draw Games include Powerball, Mega Millions, Treasure Hunt, Cash 5 with Quick Cash, Match 6 Lotto, Cash4Life and the PICK family of games.

  • As a result, players are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance for these drawings. In addition to buying Draw Game tickets in advance at retailers, the Lottery offers a subscription option for online players that allows them to purchase Draw Games tickets ahead of time.

  • As a reminder, Powerball drawings take place on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday nights. Meanwhile, Mega Millions drawings occur on Tuesday and Friday nights. Players interested in playing either game are strongly encouraged to buy their tickets in advance.

  • Players will be able to purchase Scratch-Off tickets at the counter and at vending machines at Lottery retailers via cash only.

  • Players will still be able to play eInstant games online during this time period.

  • Additionally, winning tickets won't be able to be paid during this time period. For winning Scratch-Off tickets, players are encouraged to sign the back of their tickets and hold on to them until they can be claimed once the system upgrade is complete.

No vouchers will be able to be produced and/or used during this time period. A voucher is a receipt for any remaining dollars purchased from a Lottery terminal or vending machine. Players use vouchers to make future game purchases or redeem them for cash at a retailer.

  • There may be instances, such as with the Daily Drawings, when results won't be posted to the Lottery website until the system upgrade is complete.

  • Claims on winning prizes are taking a few weeks longer to process due to the system upgrade. Processing times should return to normal in April.

Officials said the Lottery's modernization project started with the upgrade of new vending equipment at retail locations, much of which has already been rolled out across the Commonwealth. As a result, players are benefiting from this new equipment — which holds more inventory — and new digital signage in many areas at the Lottery's network of more than 10,000 retailers.

The transition to the new computer system will be accompanied by the move to new data centers, test environments, communications networks and back-office systems — all things that are occurring behind the scenes to lay the foundation for enhancements yet to come.

"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," said Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko. "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."

Players can access information about the Lottery's system upgrade by visiting

Reach Bill O'Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.

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