Loto-Québec is once again a topic of wide discussion, a lottery enthusiasts across the province express their discontent with the organization currently in place. It could be recalled that earlier this month, the Crown corporation mandated that all retail locations temporarily close amid the growing COVID-19 pandemic. Local players are concerned that players hailing from other provinces might have a better chance of bagging their potential prize.
The province of Quebec is one of the regions experiencing higher numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases. As of March 29, Quebec has confirmed some 2,840 cases of the novel coronavirus. Montreal is the hotspot of COVID-19 spread, as the city is under a local state of emergency with 1,361 confirmed cases of the highly contagious virus.
Loto-Québec Closed Retail Locations
Since the beginning of the outspread of the virus, some 22 individuals have lost their lives as a result of the novel coronavirus. One of the latest regions reporting a confirmed case was Nunavik. In this sensitive situation, the local Crown corporation overseeing brick-and-mortar gaming venues, lottery offerings, as well as the online gaming opportunities available decided to take over control and implement tighter measures.
Earlier this month, retail locations offering lottery tickets closed across the province, leaving people with the online purchase option available at espacejeux.com. This is considered a measure promoting social distancing across the province, a practice expected to flatten the curve of COVID-19 outspread and make it easier for the provincial health system to take care of the new coronavirus cases. However, there are individuals concerned with this new practice.
Ray Bell, a Lotto MAX player that has been participating in the lottery offering for years now, is among the individuals expressing their discontentment with the online ticket purchases. He usually participates in the popular lottery offering together with nine of his close friends, all of them purchasing a group ticket. They play with the same numbers during every weekly draw.
Online Purchases Appeal to Smaller Number of Players
Right now, the Lotto MAX Main prize reached its CA$70-million cap and it is time for the additional prizes to multiply until someone matches the numbers drawn and snatches it. Mr. Bell is concerned, as he is not interested in purchasing a lottery ticket online, but this could deprive him of the chance to win a stellar fortune. What stops him from participating in the upcoming draws is the fact that he does not have a personal computer.
The controversial factor here stems from the fact that the rest of the Canadian provinces still offer lottery tickets in their retail locations. This gives them better chances of participating and bagging their prize if the prize claim centers in the province have not been shut down indefinitely. Neighboring provinces have reported that players cross the provincial border in order to purchase paper lottery tickets for the Lotto MAX draws, as well as scratchers.
The situation in Quebec covers the entire province, whereas Ontario’s approach is a laxer one. Some of the lottery retail locations there have suspended ticket sales as their own decision, making sure that seniors are not making their way outside for this purchase solely. Those locations still open and offering lottery tickets continue doing so under the Essential Services list. Meanwhile, the Lotto 6/49 Main prize now reaches CA$9 million.