Illinois Lottery Officials Halting Payouts Of More Than $600 While State Resolves Budget Issues

If you’re holding a winning Illinois lottery ticket, congratulations! But if your reward is more than $600, congratulations! You’ll still get that money, eventually, but first, the state has sort out some pesky budget issues.

Illinois Lottery officials have halted payouts for all winnings over $600, as the lottery’s check writing account is expected to run out on Thursday, the Chicago Tribune reports. No one has the authority to fill it up again until a budget is passed. Those who’ve won $600 or less can still cash out at retail locations.

In July, the lottery started handing out IOUs to prizewinners due more than $25,000 in winnings. Since then, two lottery winners who’ve had payments delayed have sued the state lottery and various officials, in an effort to force the lottery to release prizes over $25,000 with interest. The suit would also prevent the lottery from selling tickets for prizes over $25,000 until the money can be paid out with no wait time.

So what’s the hold-up? The state legislature has to authorize the state comptroller to cut the checks for larger payouts, lottery officials have said. Despite the payout delay, the lottery is still selling tickets.

Everyone will get their money once a budget is passed in the state legislature, officials say.

“Once the budget situation is resolved, this will be resolved as well,” a lottery spokesman told the Tribune.

Lottery to delay payouts to winners over $600 due to budget impasse [Chicago Tribune]