Pennsylvania Lottery resumes ticket sales after computer system upgrade

Tuesday, March 19, 2024
Pennsylvania Lottery resumes ticket sales after computer system upgrade
Pennsylvania Lottery resumes ticket sales after computer system upgrade

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Pennsylvania Lottery says it has finished its computer system upgrade, meaning customers can now purchase tickets.

Ticket sales had been suspended since the work started in the early morning hours on Tuesday. This is the first upgrade to systems in about 16 years to improve technology and add new features.

But by 2 p.m., lottery officials said players can now purchase Draw Game and Fast Play tickets from vending equipment and cash winning tickets as they normally would.

This news comes just hours before the drawing for the massive Mega Millions jackpot, now worth $893 million.

Meanwhile, the Powerball jackpot is up to $687 million ahead of Wednesday night's drawing.

Just keep in mind that the odds of winning any lottery jackpot are very slim. Mega Millions players have a 1 in 302.6 million chance of taking home the top prize. And it's not much easier to win a Powerball jackpot with the odds near 1 in 292.2 million.

But the excitement remains.

This is just the sixth time in the nearly 22-year history of the Mega Millions game that the jackpot has been this large, and five of those six jackpots exceeded $1 billion, according to a Mega Millions statement. The winning tickets were sold in South Carolina, Michigan, Illinois, Maine and Florida.

There was one big winner in Friday night's Mega Millions drawing. A ticket in New York matched all five white balls drawn, and will win $1 million.

The Mega Millions jackpot has rolled over 28 times since Dec. 8, when two winning tickets were drawn in California, lottery officials said. Mega Millions drawings occur every Tuesday and Friday night.

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There have also been 33 rollovers for Powerball since Jan. 1, when a ticket in Michigan won a prize worth $842.4 million. Powerball is drawn three times weekly, on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

If you are lucky enough to win either of the large jackpots, Robert Pagliarini, the president and chief financial adviser for Pacifica Wealth Advisors, Inc. in Irvine, California, offered some advice.

"Take a deep breath," Pagliarini told The Associated Press. "You will be faced with numerous tax, legal, and financial decisions so I want you to stay grounded, because when you are calm you can make much better decisions."

Pagliarini suggested building a team to help with decisions, including an attorney, tax expert and financial adviser experienced in handling windfalls.

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"Lastly, even though you have professionals guiding you, do not forget that this is your money and you are in charge - they work for you. Ask questions and make them explain things so you understand them. The goal is to turn your sudden wealth into lasting wealth," he said.

Mega Millions tickets cost $2 and are sold in 45 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Powerball tickets are also $2 and are sold in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

AP contributed to this post.