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Illinois Lottery Is Issuing IOUs Until The State Budget Mess Is Solved

By Kate Shepherd in News on Aug 31, 2015 7:22PM


Illinois Lottery players shouldn't expect to see the cash for any big winnings anytime soon. Until lawmakers in Springfield can finally agree on a new state budget, some winners are getting IOUs instead of money.

The state comptroller is in charge of lottery winnings of more than $25,000, and doesn't have the legal authority to release the funds until there's a budget deal. Winnings of $25,000 or less can still be claimed at lottery claim centers and winnings of $600 or less can be redeemed at the place of purchase, according to the Tribune.

Ogelsby residents Susan Rick and Danny Chasteen, won $250,000 in July, but they're still out of luck until the state finally passes a much-belabored fiscal budget.

"For the first time, we were finally gonna get a break," Rick told the Tribune. "And now the Illinois Lottery has kind of messed everything up."

Chasteen turned in their winning ticket to a lottery claim center on July 20 but was only informed that the state couldn't pay during the last week of August.

"I was kind of in shock," Chasteen said to the Tribune. "I called them back the next day (and) said, 'Why am I not getting my money?' I think it's all wrong they're doing it this way. They should pay the money we're owed."

After winning the lottery, the couple booked a trip to visit Rick's daughter but had to cancel it after getting an IOU instead of cash.

Without prize money, the lottery loses its appeal, and we'll have to wait to see if this has an effect on ticket sales. A lottery and gaming consultant told the Tribune the IOUs are likely to hurt lottery ticket sales as word gets around that the lottery isn't offering the get-rich-quick fantasy it promises to be.