Budget impasse impacts Illinois Lottery
The Illinois Lottery on June 27 announced a temporary change in its winner payment policy effective July 1, should funding for Lottery prizes not be approved by the Illinois General Assembly.
At the time that Monday’s Pub. went to press at around midday Thursday, June 28, a state budget had not been approved in Illinois.
Players with valid claims of more than $25,000 will experience a delay in payments for all games because of the ongoing state budget impasse in Springfield, the acting director of the lottery announced.
“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 news release.
“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.”
In 2015, the Illinois Lottery didn’t have Fiscal Year 2016 appropriation authority to pay winners until December, resulting in nearly 3,900 valid claims being delayed, totaling more than $112 million.
Within a month of receiving an appropriation, all valid claims were paid to winners.
In addition, Smith said that a lack of Illinois Lottery funding for Fiscal Year 2018 will result in the unprecedented step of suspending Powerball and Mega Millions sales in Illinois.
Powerball sales in Illinois were to have been suspended at 9 p.m. on June 28.
All Powerball tickets purchased before the cut-off time will be valid tickets.
All active Powerball subscriptions were to have been cancelled after the last draw on June 28. The Illinois 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 was unknown.
No other Illinois Lottery games were going to be suspended.
Mega Millions Sales
Mega Millions sales in Illinois were to have been suspended at 9:45 p.m. on June 30.
All Mega Millions tickets purchased before the cutoff time will be valid tickets.
All active Mega Millions subscriptions were to have been cancelled after the last draw on June 30. The Illinois 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.
Illinois Lotterey officials said that players should not delay claiming a winning ticket.
Valid claims of more than $25,000 will experience a delay in payments due to the state comptroller’s inability to make payments on behalf of the Illinois 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 Illinois Lottery without an appropriation.
As of June 27, the Illinois Lottery stated that it would continue to pay valid claims of $25,000 or less at any of the five Lottery Prize Centers located throughout Illinois: in Chicago, Des Plaines, Fairview Heights, Rockford and Springfield.
Prizes of $600 or less will continue to be paid at the Illinois Lottery’s nearly 8,000 retail partners.