Powerball officially stops selling tickets in Illinois due to lack of funding

FOX 32 NEWS - A money maker for the state is gone for now. Illinois can no longer take part in Powerball ticket sales. The game is the latest casualty of the state’s budget stalemate.

This was the last night to get your hands on one of these here in Illinois. The Multi-state Lottery Association will no longer allow Illinois to be part of Powerball.

It’s a game Illinois players have been playing since 2010.

"They shouldn't take it away from people that enjoy doing what they like to do,” said Carl Brown, player.

Now that Illinois can no longer sell Powerball tickets, those who want them will have to cross state lines to get them.

"I probably would if it got high enough,” said Patrick Hurley, player.

It’s all because the state doesn’t have a budget. The new fiscal year starts July 1st. The comptroller will no longer have the authority to authorize the distribution of prize money above $25-thousand

"Governor Rauner pass the budget,” said Zeke Simpson.

The ticket suspension is upsetting regular players like Zeke Simpson. He was too worried to pick up any lottery tickets Wednesday.

'But what's the sense of playing now? You can't get paid,” said Zeke Simpson, player.

“People have that dream of hitting $500 million and not have to work again , and now you can't do it?  Yea,” said Matthew O’Connor.

Illinois lottery officials spoke to FOX 32 by phone, calling this a temporary change. They say they have the money to pay winners, but need to wait for a budget that includes lottery funding. For now, players could see a delay in payment in other state games with prizes above $25-thousand.

In addition, Mega Millions will be suspended in Illinois as of 9:45 this Friday night. When or if Megamillions and Powerball will return to Illinois remains unclear.

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