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Legal action taken after Illinois Lottery unable to payout its lottery winners

Thu 19 Nov 2015, By Lisa Bonnet
Illinois Lottery can't pay its lottery winners because of legal problems

Breaking news: the government is bad, and it wants to take your money. No real shocker there, but when government goes after our lottery winnings, it gets personal.

In Illinois, a Midwestern state in the USA, the state-wide lottery has flat-out stopped paying any lottery win over $600 since October 2015.

All because of a silly budget fight between the leading US political parties, the democrats and the republicans. Even though lottery ticket holders with winning tickets are not getting their payouts, the state of Illinois continues to advertise its national lottery. So what gives?

Because of these budgeting issues, there was no cash set aside for the lottery since July 2015. The Illinois lottery was able to dip into its own budget to pay smaller winnings, and since September 2015, was unable to pay for any winnings over $25 000. One month rolls by, and that payout halt lowers to $600. Now, concerned parties have taken the Illinois Lottery to court, as they are desperately seeking their winnings.

Attorney Thomas Zimmerman represents the lottery players of Illinois, saying that there is no need to worry as "the money is there" and that "the only thing that is lacking is the authority to release it and that's what the budget impasse is all about." As a sting in the tail, the lawsuit has been updated to place a stop on any other state lotteries from sending Illinois Lottery their winnings.

There's a slight snag though: in the US Constitution, there's the Eleventh Amendment of Sovereign Immunity, meaning that no resident of a state can sue the state they live in. Attorney Zimmerman has found a loophole to exploit though, saying that the Illinois Lottery, while owned by the State, cannot associate its fund with the general State fund. The case continues later this year on December 16.

Luckily for players at LottosOnline, their favourite US lottery games such as Powerball and Mega Millions will always pay out if they win the jackpot prize. LottosOnline buys their tickets in California, where there are no such legal issues that are facing Illinois lottery players.