IOUs Instead Of Cash Given To Lotto Winners

IOUs Instead Of Cash Given To Lotto Winners

The payment delays have sparked a lawsuit by winners who accuse the lottery of withholding more than $288m in prizes since June.

Illinois' state lottery has announced anyone who wins more than a few hundred dollars will get an IOU because of budget problems.

Since July, the lottery has been withholding payments to players who win $25,000 (£16,000) or more, but it has now lowered that threshold to $600.

The delay is down to a budget stalemate between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and the Democrats who control the Illinois General Assembly.

The Illinois Lottery said in a statement on Wednesday that it cannot legally issue the cheques.

"Please note that the funding to pay winners exists, but the legal authority to issue checks does not," it added.

Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger said a $560m payment to the state pension system is also on hold because of the budget row.

The IOUs triggered a class-action lawsuit last month in federal court.

The case was filed by two people who won $50,000 and $250,000 in July, but have yet to be paid.

The lawsuit says the Illinois Lottery has withheld more than $288m in prizes since the state budget expired in June.

"How the heck can they do this, and they're still selling tickets?" said one of the lead plaintiffs, Rhonda Rasche, 48, reports the Chicago Tribune.

"If I was the one selling raffle tickets and I didn't pay, I would be sued or in jail or both."

source:: IOUs Instead Of Cash Given To Lotto Winners
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