The passage of a state budget at the last minute kept Washington's Lottery from suspending services, but the new budget is going to limit how far in advance you can buy tickets.

According to Lottery officials, it's a common practice for people to purchase tickets 2, even three weeks in advance of upcoming drawings.  Retailers get commissions for tickets sold, so they like the practice. The more sold, more often, more commissions.

But the new budget approved this last week calls for a $6 million dollar cut in the Lottery expenses, or budget, so now officials have to reconfigure the numbers.  So for the next few weeks, consumers will only be able to buy lottery tickets for that week's upcoming drawing.  Lottery officials say they have to re-calculate what the budget cuts will do to those retailer commissions.

Until they can finish that, advance lottery ticket sales will be on hold. Besides being an inconvenience to buyers, these reduced advanced commissions will also affect lottery retailers.

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