Illinois Can’t Pay Its Lottery Winners Right Now

Current lottery winners in Illinois might have to delay their joyful reactions for a little while. The state hasn’t passed a new budget, which means that they’re unable to pay lottery winners whose prizes are $25,000 or more. That’s a total of 29 lottery winners still waiting for their money since the current fiscal year started on July 1st.

Without a state budget in place, lottery officials can’t legally pay out big prizes. Prizes under $25,000 can be paid at a person’s local lottery claim center, and prizes under $600 can be cashed in at a store that sells lottery tickets.

It’s not the most serious consequence of the state budget crisis by any means, but frustrating for winners who have been handed a great big ceremonial cardboard IOU. The state comptroller’s office cuts checks for $25,000 or above, and lottery winners aren’t happy.

“I bought the ticket, I should get the money when it’s due to me,” a man who won $250,000 on a scratchoff game told TV station WLS. “I shouldn’t have to wait for some budget to be settled.” Unfortunately, that’s not how bureaucracies work.

Illinois lottery winners are in limbo [CNN]

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