Powerball Ticket Sales to Be Suspended in Illinois
Illinois Lottery officials have confirmed that the sale of Powerball tickets will be suspended unless the state is able to pass a budget before June 28th. This means, with no resolution in sight, that players could be forced to travel to neighboring states in order to play the popular lottery game.
The Prairie State's sorry financial affairs began in 2015 when players who had won lottery prizes worth in excess of $600 had to be issued with IOUs. Two years on, and things are looking even bleaker as Illinois players stare the prospect of being kicked out of the Powerball family firmly in the face, especially with further doubts being raised over the organization’s ability to pay out any future winnings.
The decision, which would also see the state lose its Mega Millions privileges, was announced on the state lottery’s website, with an explanation on the FAQs page stating 'the groups that own and operate these two popular games will not permit Illinois to sell the games without funds available to pay prizes'.
Illinois, which is one of the 47 states and jurisdictions to participate in the multi-million dollar game, reported ticket sales in the region of $208 million in 2016, with around 40 percent of this amount being returned in revenue; however, even this amount of money hasn’t been able to keep the state’s lottery company’s head above water.
In an effort to save the region from losing its multi-state lottery games, Illinois Lottery Director Greg Smith, who expressed his disappointment that players will be ‘denied the opportunity to play these popular games’, was quick to reassure fans that the organization would be working hard to reach an agreement for the 2018 fiscal year before negotiations with the Multi-State Lottery Association begin ‘to determine a path for the return’ of the games.
With an emergency session having been called, the fate of Illinois' participation in Powerball remains in the balance. However, should there fail to be a break in the economic deadlock, there will be some very unhappy lottery fans after the final draw on Wednesday June 28th, with a suspension remaining in place 'until further notice'.
Until a decision is reached, players in Illinois, as well as participants in the 46 other states and jurisdictions, can take part in this Saturday’s Powerball draw when the jackpot will be worth an estimated $52 million. Best of luck!
Page Last Updated: 19/06/2017 10:14:51