Illinois Lottery Can’t Pay Its Winners “Watch”

Updated: October 16, 2015
Illinois Lottery Can't Pay Its Winners - Watch

The Illinois Lottery says the state budget impasse means all winners of more than $600 won’t be paid immediately.

Thanks to a budget impasse in the Illinois General Assembly, instead of payouts winners are getting I.O.U.s, a Chicago Tribune report says.

State law mandates that the state comptroller cut checks for winnings of $25,000 or more.

Now, Illinois Lottery officials are saying they are unable to pay any winnings over $600. Previously the delay only applied to winners of prizes over $25,000, ABC-7 Chicago reported.

Lottery officials anticipate that after October 15, their check writing abilities will be exhausted unless a state budget is passed.

News releases on the Illinois Lottery website announcing big prizes, including heartwarming stories of winners using their winnings to pay grandchildren’s college tuition, take a trip or invest in their retirement, stopped after August 2015.

Those who’ve won big lottery prizes since then and have been issued I.O.U.s represent millions of dollars in prizes.

“For the first time, we were finally gonna get a break,” an Oglesby lotter winner told the Chicago Tribune. “And now the Illinois Lottery has kind of messed everything up.”

Eventually, all the Illinois Lottery winners issued I.O.U.s will be be paid when a budget is passed, according to news reports.