Wednesday, 23 August, 2017

Illinois Will Lose Powerball, Mega Millions Without Budget

Source WMBF News Source WMBF News
Carlton Santiago | 16 June, 2017, 03:44

"It is disappointing that the Legislature's inability to pass a budget has led to this development and will result in Illinois Lottery players being denied the opportunity to play these popular games", Acting Illinois Lottery Director Greg Smith said in a written statement. The Powerball jackpot had grown up to $435 million, after more than two months without a victor.

Illinois Lottery spokesman Jason Schaumburg confirmed to the Sun-Times that the games would be dropped from Illinois' offerings without the passing of a new state budget.

A spokeswoman for the Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs Powerball, declined to confirm that a decision had been made to end sales of that game.

The Multi-State Lottery Association is a non-profit, government-benefit association owned and operated by its 36 member lotteries.

The lack of a state budget could cost IL the Powerball and Mega Millions lottery games.

The Illinois Lottery has not returned calls from NBC 5 confirming the move. Mega Millions is offered in 44 states, along with the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Chicago Sun-Times says IL reported $99 million in Mega Millions sales and $208 million in Powerball sales in 2016.

Mr. McKenna's concern was that some lottery ticket revenue goes to fund education, and IL "needs that money for the children".

It has been two weeks since the Illinois General Assembly adjourned - and more than two years since lawmakers have reached a budget compromise.

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