ILLINOIS (KFVS) - The Illinois Lottery announced Mega Millions and Powerball sales will continue.
On Thursday, the Illinois House voted to override Governor Bruce Rauner's veto of the budget plan, thus enacting the first spending plan since 2015.
According to the Lottery, prize payment delays will end.
Illinois Lottery Acting Director Greg Smith issued the following statement on Thursday, July 6.
The Illinois Lottery suspended Powerball and Mega Millions sales in Illinois by the end of June due to a lack of lottery funding for Fiscal Year 2018.
Powerball sales in Illinois were suspended at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, June 28.
All tickets purchased before that cut-off time were valid. All active Powerball subscriptions were canceled after the last draw on June 28 and the Lottery was going to issue refunds to players for the remaining length of their subscriptions.
Mega Millions sales in Illinois were suspended at 9:45 p.m. on Friday, June 30.
All Mega Millions tickets bought before that cut-off time were valid tickets. All active subscriptions were canceled after the last draw on June 30 and the Lottery was going to issue refunds to players for the remaining length of their subscriptions.
It was a fact that is somewhat concerning to stores that sell Lotto tickets in southern Illinois.
Farm Fresh Dairy Store was one of those, they said Lotto tickets are the second most sold item in their store, behind cigarettes.
"Yea I think it's getting a little ridiculous," said Geri Ellis, who has a second job, also affected by the impasse. "I'm also a teacher's aide for a school too."
Even without the lottery tickets being sold in Illinois, people like Dennis Womick will still play. He said he will be going over to Missouri to buy tickets but is still concerned.
"The state would be losing a lot of revenue and the schools need all the help they can get," said Womick. "You know it's time to get off the pot and do something."
According to the Illinois Lottery, when a Fiscal Year 2018 appropriation for the Illinois Lottery is passed, the Lottery will work with the Multi-State Lottery Association to determine a path for the return of Powerball sales. The timing is unknown.
The lottery stated sales for Mega Millions would resume once a budget was passed.
No other Illinois Lottery games were suspended.
Players with valid claims of more than $25,000 were going to experience a delay in payments for all games because of the ongoing state budget impasse.
What this meant for prize payments:
- Players should not delay claiming a winning ticket
- Valid claims of more than $25,000 will experience a delay in payments due to the Comptroller's inability to make payments on behalf of the Lottery without an appropriation.
- Players with valid claims of any amount who owe money to the state (via an "offset") will experience a delay in payments
- At this time, the Illinois Lottery will continue to pay valid claims of $25,000 or less at any of the five Lottery Prize Centers located throughout Illinois: Chicago, Des Plaines, Fairview Heights, Rockford and Springfield
- Prizes of $600 or less will continue to be paid at the Lottery's nearly 8,000 retail partners
In FY16, the Illinois Lottery didn't have appropriation authority to pay winners until December 2015, resulting in nearly 3,900 valid claims being delayed, totaling more than $112 million. Within a month of receiving appropriation, all claims were paid to winners.
During the time the Lottery could not pay players in 2015, October 14 to December 14, lost sales estimated at $66.5 million to $71.5 million.