CALGARY -- If you've got your hands on a winning lottery ticket that's about to expire but are worried about cashing it in, the Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC) is offering to help out.

Lotto players are still being drawn in by the promise of a huge jackpot, but anxiety over COVID-19 has caused concern about how winners can claim their prizes.

Some retailers even admitted they were reluctant to redeem winning tickets because they did not want to handle cash or tickets from customers.

In response, the WCLC says the expiration date on tickets that would have expired anytime between March 17 and Sept. 17, 2020 are now valid for an additional six months.

"WCLC recognizes that efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 have affected lottery players' ability to claim prizes. WCLC supports the choices of our players to practice appropriate physical distancing to keep themselves, their families and their communities safe in accordance with public health advisories," the company stated in a release.

The extension applies to all lottery games offered by the WCLC including draw games, sport select games and instant scratch tickets.

Under regular circumstances, winning tickets for draw games expire one year after the draw date while scratch tickets have an expiration date printed on the back of the ticket.