Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Illinois Suspends Powerball, Mega Millions Lottery Ticket Sales

A customer shows their tickets for the Powerball lottery at the CA lotto store in San Bernardino County California on the California Nevada state line Illinois Suspends Powerball, Mega Millions Lottery Ticket Sales
Preston Stone | 08 July, 2017, 00:07

In 2015, almost 4,000 people saw claims that totaled more than $112 million delayed (though they were eventually paid out), according to the Illinois Lottery.

Lucy Rushing, who works at the Four Way Quick Stop in DeSoto, says until recently, lottery tickets sales were popular. Without a budget, the state lottery does not have authorization to pay out winners.

However, the Powerball and Mega Millions lottery systems are not too sure that an agreement will be reached, so they have made a decision to suspend their services indefinitely.

State lottery officials announced Tuesday that if IL doesn't reach a budget deal by the end of the month, before the start of the fiscal year, the state plans to halt the sale of Powerball and Mega-Million tickets. The Illinois Lottery has additionally contributed $44 million to special causes including veterans services, breast cancer research, Multiple Sclerosis research, Special Olympics training programs, and assistance of state residents living with HIV/AIDS. "That means the General Assembly needs to approve a truly balanced budget that includes lottery funding in order to ensure all prize payments will occur", Smith said in a press release.

Officials have already said that payouts over $25,000 will be delayed. The cutoff was threatened weeks ago by the multi-state lottery agency but state lawmakers and the governor didn't listen. "The groups that own and operate these two popular games will not permit IL to sell the games without funds available to pay prizes", says the state lottery website. "The lottery is a goose that lays golden eggs to the tune of about $680 to $700 million a year to our revenue, and we're screwing around with it".

Powerball ticket sales will be suspended at 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 28.

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