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Coronavirus In Ohio: Lottery Says It Qualifies As An ‘Essential Service’

Ohio Lottery tickets
Jo Ingles
Ohio Public Radio

Ohio’s casinos have been closed for almost two weeks, and it's been a week since bars were shut down, including those offering Keno. Ohio Lottery tickets are still being sold, even under the new stay-at-home which went into effect on Tuesday. 

The stay-at-home order, intended to fight the spread of coronavirus, says only essential services are supposed to be operating. That order doesn’t say anything about lottery tickets, which continue to be sold at retailers.

“The Lottery Commission’s operation is considered an essential government function providing funding of public education and our ongoing philanthropic efforts across the state," the agency says in a statement.

The lottery adds those sales are limited to grocers, convenience stores and businesses deemed essential.

Some cashiers say selling and redeeming tickets requires employees to hand them to customers with less than the six-foot-distance businesses are required to follow in the order.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.