The Illinois lottery may become a victim of the bankrupt state if lawmakers cannot agree and pass a budget. In a last ditch effort, the lawmakers have started a special session on Wednesday that can last for 10 days. From Fox News:

The state lotto requires a payment from the legislature each year. The current appropriation expires June 30, meaning no authority to pay prizes. In anticipation of a budget deadlock, the state already is planning to halt Powerball and Mega Millions sales.

“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,” Illinois Lottery Acting Director Greg Smith told Fox News.

The new fiscal year begins on July 1.

The Illinois comptroller announced last week that the “office would be paying out 100 percent of Illinois’ monthly revenue.” This means the office does not have money for “discretionary spending.”

Without the budget the Powerball could end after June 28 and Mega Millions after June 30. From The Chicago Tribune:

Apparently, the two groups have been eyeing the fiscal condition of Illinois since 2015. To be part of the Powerball and Mega Millions consortiums, states kick in a portion of their games’ revenues to cover those impressive rollovers.

Forty-four states offer both Powerball and Mega Millions games. Illinois would be the first to get booted for being financially unstable. Without a budget, the state can’t write a check to cover its share. Sort of like paying to play.

Without the lottery, Illinois stands to lose “$99 million in Mega Millions ticket sales and $208 million in Powerball sales.” The loss also affects small business owners since the majority of people buy lottery tickets at liquor stores and mini-marts.

Earlier this month, Illinois lawmakers could not pass a budget, which led S&P to downgrade the state’s rating to one step above junk.

Illinois remains $14 billion in debt and owes $130 billion in pensions.


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