Illinois Lottery to Delay Payments to Some Winners Without a State Budget | NBC Chicago
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Illinois Lottery to Delay Payments to Some Winners Without a State Budget

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Tuesday, June 27, 2017)

    The Illinois Lottery announced Tuesday it will enforce a temporary change to its winner payment policy if the General Assembly does not approve funding for Lottery prizes before July 1. 

    All Powerball and Mega Millions sales in Illinois will also be suspended beginning Tuesday night, the Lottery said in a release. 

    Under the new policy, players who win more than $25,000 will have their payments delayed "because of the ongoing state budget impasse in Springfield."

    “Players should be confident knowing the Illinois Lottery has the money to pay these winning claims,” Illinois Lottery Acting Director Greg Smith said in a statement. “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.”

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    In 2015, a similar policy was put in place, delaying nearly 3,900 valid claims being delayed, totaling more than $112 million. Eventually, this winners were paid in full, the lottery stated. 

    The Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs Mega Millions and Powerball, also said in internal Illinois Lottery communications it would drop the games in the current financial state climate in an unpredecdented move. 

    "It is disappoining that the legislature’s inability to pass a budget has lead to this development," Smith said. "This is why it’s so critical the general assembly deliver a balanced budget.”

    That budget has eluded lawmakers for more than two years, and although Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has called a special session of the legislature to come to a budget deal, it's impossible to know whether a compromise can be reached. 

    See a full breakdown on how the budget will impact the Illinois lottery below:

    WHAT IT MEANS FOR POWERBALL

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    • Powerball sales in Illinois will be suspended at 9:00 p.m. June 28, 2017.

    • All Powerball tickets purchased before that cut-off time will be valid tickets.

    • All active Powerball subscriptions will be cancelled after the last draw on June 28. The Lottery will issue refunds to players for the remaining length of their subscriptions.

    • 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.

    • No other Illinois Lottery games will be suspended.

    WHAT IT MEANS FOR MEGA MILLIONS

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    • Mega Millions sales in Illinois will be suspended at 9:45 p.m. June 30, 2017.

    • All Mega Millions tickets purchased before that cut-off time will be valid tickets.

    • All active Mega Millions subscriptions will be cancelled after the last draw on June 30. The Lottery will issue refunds to players for the remaining length of their subscriptions.

    • When a Fiscal Year 2018 appropriation for the Illinois Lottery is passed, sales for Mega Millions will resume.

    • No other Illinois Lottery games will be suspended. 

    WHAT IT MEANS FOR PRIZE PAYMENTS

    Baranski, Hammer, Moretta and Sheehy Architects and Planners

    • 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 due to the Comptroller’s inability to make payments on behalf of the Lottery without an appropriation.

    • 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.


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