CHICAGO — Lottery players will soon be unable to buy Mega Millions or Powerball tickets in Illinois due to the state's budget impasse, Illinois Lottery officials said Tuesday.
The multistate lottery game organization warned earlier this month that it would pull out of Illinois if the state was unable to pass a budget by the end of the month.
Ticket sales of Powerball, with a current jackpot of $92 million, will be suspended across the state at 9 p.m. Wednesday, the state lottery announced.
Ticket sales of Mega Millions, with a current jackpot of $145 million, will be suspended across the state at 9:45 p.m. Friday.
Tickets bought before the cutoff times will be honored.
All other Illinois Lottery games will remain intact.
The state's lottery also said that any winners of prizes exceeding $25,000 "will experience a delay in payments for all games," though it didn't elaborate on how long the delay would last.
“Players should be confident knowing the Illinois Lottery has the money to pay these winning claims,” Illinois Lottery acting Director Greg Smith said. “That means the General Assembly needs to approve a truly balanced budget that includes Lottery funding in order to ensure all prize payments will occur.”
Illinois lottery winners get their checks from the state comptroller's office, which cannot legally cut checks without authorization in the budget.
"If there's no appropriation, we can't issue a check," said Abdon Pallasch, a spokesman for Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza.