In late June, officials of the Illinois State Lottery decided to stop selling popular lottery tickets for the Mega Millions and Powerball. The state was unable to contribute to the prize pool for the lottery games without a proper budget in place. The lottery has now resumed ticket sales as the budget issue has come to an end.
According to the Lottery Post, officials of the Illinois Lottery have stated that Powerball and Mega Millions tickets are now back on sale. Greg Smith is the Acting Director for the Illinois Lottery who stated on Thursday night that the sales were back on.
In a statement, Smith said that the lottery was pleased to announce that Mega Millions ticket sales are back on and players have the ability to purchase tickets at any of the retail partners in the state, with the mobile application or at the lottery website. Smith continued by showing appreciation for player loyalty as well as the retail partners as they continue their mission to fund education for K-12 students.
The state usually earns around $90 million a year from the Mega Millions and Powerball games. Back in June it was announced that payments of $25,000 or more would be delayed as of July until a budget could be put in place. According to the Lottery, they had the money to make the payments but based on the state law, the General Assembly must provide authority each year for the comptroller to be able to pay out the large prizes.
Governor Bruce Rauner had vetoed the spending plan but the state House of Representatives decided to override the veto in order to increase state income taxes and the spending plan. This is the first time the state has had a budget in two years.