Tonight's Powerball Drawing Could Be Illinois' Last

Tonight's Powerball Drawing Could Be Illinois' Last

Springfield, Ill (24/7 NewsSource) - Lotto players soon won't be able to buy a Powerball or Mega Millions ticket in IL until the state has a budget.

The Illinois Lottery yesterday said it will suspend Powerball and Mega Millions ticket sales later tonight.

IL lottery officials spoke to FOX 32 by phone, calling this a temporary change.

The Illinois Lottery advises players not to delay claiming a winning ticket, and says claims of more than $25,000 will be delayed due to the state's inability to make payments if there is no budget. The game is the latest casualty of the state's budget stalemate. For now, players could see a delay in payment in other state games with prizes above $25-thousand.

Rating agency Standard & Poor's has said it will probably give the state a "junk" credit rating if the state does not reach a solution by Friday.

"They'll go over the water to play Powerball", predicted employee Tamela Rencher on Wednesday, as she stood behind the counter next to a screen advertising the Powerball multistate lottery game drawing scheduled for later that night - possibly the last one to include IL. The state is sitting on some $14.5 billion in unpaid bills.

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If you win the lottery in IL, you might have to be patient before you will be able to get your money.

Lucy Rushing, who works at the Four Way Quick Stop in DeSoto, says until recently, lottery tickets sales were popular.

Now that IL can no longer sell Powerball tickets, those who want them will have to cross state lines to get them.

Steve Brown, a spokesman for Democratic Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, Rauner's chief nemesis in Springfield, implied Wednesday that some of the latest lottery problems are "a self-inflicted injury" by the administration, to put pressure on Democrats to deal.

Illinois Lottery officials did warn of the suspension earlier this month. "They can't get a budget because they can't get along?"

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