Lottery's Low On Cash; Winners Will Still Have To Wait For Prize Money

Oct 15, 2015

More Illinois Lottery prizewinners won't be able to reap their rewards immediately. The Lottery says claims will be paid only once a budget is passed.

Credit Illinois Lottery

The Illinois Lottery website has a press release, dated Aug. 13, 2015. It quotes Homer Glen resident Rhonda Rasche, who'd won $50,000 on a Crossword ticket, exclaiming "This is amazing! I can't believe it's happening to me!"

Rasche is still waiting on the cash, and is suing the state to get it.

Lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner have to authorize the payouts of prizes of $25,000 or more. Without a budget, there's no authorization.

So prizes  - like Rasche's - haven't been paid.

That federal lawsuit's still pending. And the Lottery's still selling tickets. But now, it's unable to pay out prizes worth $600 or more.  

Lottery spokesman Steve Rossi wouldn't go on tape, but he says that the Lottery's check-writing bank account is exhausted and can't be replenished.

If you win less than $600, your luck hasn't run out; you can get paid at any of the 8,000 locations Lottery tickets are sold throughout the state.

Illinois is in its fourth month without a budget.