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Illinois Powerball sales suspended Wednesday, Mega Millions on Friday

The Illinois Lottery is announcing a temporary change in its winner payment policy effective July 1, 2017, should funding for Lottery prizes not be approved by the General Assembly. (WRSP File Photo)

The lack of a state budget and therefore a lack of Illinois lottery funding is resulting in the unprecedented step of suspending Powerball and Mega Millions sales in Illinois.

Powerball sales in Illinois will be suspended at 9:00 p.m. June 28, 2017. Mega Millions sales in Illinois will be suspended at 9:45 p.m. June 30, 2017.

The Illinois Lottery also announced a temporary change to its winner payments that goes into effect July 1, should funding for Lottery prizes not be approved by the General Assembly. According to a press release, 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.

In 2015, the 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, a lack of Lottery funding for Fiscal Year 2018 will result in the unprecedented step of suspending Powerball and Mega Millions sales in Illinois.

WHAT IT MEANS FOR POWERBALL

  • Powerball sales in Illinois will be suspended at 9:00 p.m. June 28, 2017.
  • All Powerball tickets purchased before that cut-off time will be valid tickets.
  • All active Powerball subscriptions will be cancelled after the last draw on June 28. The 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 is unknown.
  • No other Illinois Lottery games will be suspended.

WHAT IT MEANS FOR MEGA MILLIONS

  • Mega Millions sales in Illinois will be suspended at 9:45 p.m. June 30, 2017.
  • All Mega Millions tickets purchased before that cut-off time will be valid tickets.
  • All active Mega Millions subscriptions will be canceled after the last draw on June 30. The 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.

WHAT IT MEANS FOR PRIZE PAYMENTS

  • Players should not delay claiming a winning ticket.
  • Valid claims of more than $25,000 will experience a delay in payments due to the Comptroller’s inability to make payments on behalf of the 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 Lottery without an appropriation.
  • At this time, the Illinois Lottery will continue to pay valid claims of $25,000 or less at any of the five Lottery Prize Centers located throughout Illinois - Chicago, Des Plaines, Fairview Heights, Rockford and Springfield.
  • Prizes of $600 or less will continue to be paid at the Lottery’s nearly 8,000 retail partners.


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