Powerball and Mega Millions ticket sales could be halted in Illinois, here’s why

CHICAGO -- The Illinois Lottery announced Powerball and Mega Millions tickets won't be sold in the state after this week due to the state budget crisis.

Powerball sales end tonight while Mega Millions will follow on Friday.

Lawmakers have until Friday to strike a budget deal before the special session ends.

House Speaker Mike Madigan submitted his proposal, without offering specifics on how to pay for 36 billion in spending.

Republicans and Governor Rauner says it's impossible to tell if Madigan's proposal is balanced.

While the Illinois lottery will continue to hold drawings, anyone who wins more than $25,000 dollars will have their prize payments delayed.

Without a state budget, there's no appropriation to pay the multi-state lottery agency that runs Powerball and Mega Millions.

There’s also no authorization to pay local lottery winners.

“Players should be confident knowing the Illinois Lottery has the money to pay these winning claims,” Illinois Lottery Acting Director Greg Smith said in a statement. “That means the General Assembly needs to approve a truly balanced budget that includes Lottery funding in order to ensure all prize payments will occur.”

Here is what the suspension of ticket sales 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.

Here is what the suspension of ticket sales 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.

More details on prize payment

  • 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.