Big Illinois lottery winners won't get paid til budget stalemate ends
Big Illinois Lottery winners are among those who won't get paid until Gov. Bruce Rauner and lawmakers approve a state budget that was due July 1.
Lottery spokesman Steve Rossi said people who win less than $600 can claim their cash at retailers that sell tickets and prizes less than $25,000 can be claimed at a few special lottery claims centers.
But big winners since July 1 will be out of luck until there's a spending plan in place, Rossi said.
"The payments are simply delayed," he said.
"All winners will be paid in full as soon as the Lottery and the Illinois comptroller have the legislative authority to do so," he added in a statement.
Rossi said there have been multiple winners of big prizes since July 1, but he didn't know how many.
According to the Illinois Lottery's website, there have been two winners of more than $25,000 in the Chicago area since July 1 that haven't claimed their prizes.
One $17 million number sold in Wilmette was drawn July 25. And a $450,000 winner bought in Chicago was picked Wednesday.
Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger's office said the situation is similar to how communities aren't getting their share of video gambling or casino money until a budget authorizes the payments.
"It's the same situation," spokesman Rich Carter said.
The lottery delays come as Munger's office is in court with disability advocates about whether payments from the state are going out in a timely manner.