FOX 32's Craig Wall contributed to this report.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Big-time Illinois Lottery winners aren't getting their money - they're getting left out.
Without a state budget agreement two months into the new fiscal year, there's no authority for the state comptroller to cut checks over $25,000. That means smaller winnings can be paid out, but not the larger lottery wins.
Susan Rick, who lives in Oglesby, Illinois, planned home fix-ups and a visit to her daughter after her boyfriend, Danny Chasteen, won $250,000 last month. But they were told to wait.
"It's wrong the way they do it," Chasteen said. "I was planning on paying off all of my bills and have no bills to pay, and helping my girlfriend pay off her bills, and now it's all shot."
Rick tells the Chicago Tribune that if the situation were reversed, the state would "come take it and they don't care whether we have a roof over our head."
At the Illinois Lottery payout center in Des Plaines, Christine Krawczyk picked up her $1000 payout Friday afternoon, but had second thoughts about playing again, at least for now.
"I won't be playing the Illinois Lottery any more, because if I'm spending the money and I"m not gonna get paid, why would I play," said Krawczyk.
In the lottery lobby, those will tickets worth less than $25,000 were grateful to collect their money, but felt the pain of those stuck in limbo.
"That's tough, everybody needs to know their winnings, so, and the economy is bad," said Kinnari Antoyne.
"I don't think too many people are going to be happy about it, there's a lot of people that's waiting for that winning number, and they're relying on doing some good things with it immediately," said Victoria Saubert.
Lottery spokesman Steve Rossi says the state agency, like every other one, is "affected by the budget situation."