Illinois Lottery warns of delayed payouts to some winners

CHICAGO, Ill. (KWQC) - Win the lottery after July 1st and you may not get all your winnings, at least not right away. That's the warning announced Tues. June 27, 2017 by the Illinois Lottery. The agency is making a temporary change in its winner payment policy, in case lawmakers don't reach a budget agreement before the new fiscal year.

Lottery officials say if players win more than $25,000, there will be a delay in payments of their winnings.

If it sounds familar, back in 2015, the state lottery didn’t have budget authority to pay winners until December, resulting in nearly 3,900 valid claims being delayed. Within a month of receiving an appropriation, all valid claims were paid.

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

The Illinois Lottery released the following information:

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 cancelled 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.

Illinois Lottery by the Numbers

· 1974 - The Illinois Lottery was founded

· $19 billion - Illinois Lottery contribution to the Common School Fund (since 1985) to assist K-12 public schools

· $2.86 billion - Sales in FY16 (FY15 sales were $2.85 billion)

· $691.55 million - The Illinois Lottery contribution to the Common School Fund for FY16

· $44 million - Illinois Lottery contribution to special causes, including veterans services, breast cancer research, Multiple Sclerosis research, Special Olympics training programs and assistance for Illinois residents living with HIV/AIDS