With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing many public and private industries to convert to electronic methods of conducting business, Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly has sponsored a bill directing the State Lottery Commission to implement a program allowing residents to submit and validate lottery claims for prizes of $600 or more via the internet, a mobile app or other electronic means.
The bill (A-4163) specifies that the Commission would have to ensure the program includes security measures to prevent fraud and protect both the personal and financial information of lottery players.
Upon the bill unanimously passing the full Assembly Thursday, Assemblyman Wimberly (D-Bergen, Passaic) issued the following statement:
“One unintended effect of this pandemic has been the realization that many of the procedures and activities people do in-person can be done remotely. It has required some ingenuity and adjustment to provide remote accommodations, yet many industries and individuals have made it work.
“With concerns over the spread of COVID-19, the Lottery Commission has been closed to the public for in-person submission and validation of lottery claims over the past few months. That closure forced winners to either send their ticket in the mail or wait to validate it, which led to delays in people receiving their winnings.
“Offering an electronic way for residents to validate their tickets would prevent further delays and provide an alternative method for anyone uncomfortable with the idea of sending such an important ticket in the mail.
“It’s important to update our state’s lottery system so that people can trust these same issues will no longer be a problem in the future.”