Coverage of the stalemate in Congress that forced the U.S. government to a standstill

Shutdown Forces D.C. Lottery to Delay Paying Winners

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Tom Sherwood, NBCWashington.com

    Anyone hoping that winning the D.C. Lottery could make up for income lost in the government shutdown is officially out of luck.

    D.C. Lottery officials announced Friday afternoon that they would no longer cash in winning D.C. Lottery tickets, as the government shutdown grinds to the end of a second week.

    The District can only spend money that has been appropriated by Congress, and in recent days has delayed payments to vendors and stopped issuing tax refunds in attempts to hang on to the money left in its reserve fund.

    That led the D.C. Lottery to suspend prize payments until the shutdown is over, according to a list of frequently asked questions distributed by the Lottery.

    "All winning DC lottery tickets will be honored once the shutdown is over. We regret the inconvenience," read a statement from the D.C. Lottery.

    Lottery players can still buy tickets. And the lottery will continue its scheduled number drawings.

    In the meantime, any winners should sign the back of their tickets and hold on to it. "Once the DC Lottery resumes normal business operations, you may redeem your winning ticket at any DC Lottery retailer or at the DC Lottery Claim Center," the FAQ reads.