The budget woes of this traditional democratic stronghold have become so bad it recently announced it would not paying out any lottery winnings in excess of $600 until the ongoing budget crisis is resolved. Despite not paying winning ticket holder, the State continues to run TV ads promoting its’ lottery.
Attorney Tom Zimmerman, who represents some recent winners, told a local news channel that “there is a staggering $288 million in winnings waiting to be paid out.”
One winner, Susan Rick, told INSIDE EDITION: “We won. We finally can have a comfortable life. Suddenly you're gonna the rug out from underneath us. We had a ticket for $250,000.”
In another egregious case, a group of Chicago city employees, who were members of a lotto pool won a million dollars - but they still haven’t seen a dime of that money either.
Yet another Illinois resident and hospital clerk, Rhonda Rasche, said that after she won $50,000 on a scratch-off lotto ticket, state lottery officials told her she'd receive a check in the mail in four to six weeks. That was a few months ago.
“I've been waiting for a check for $50,000,” she said.
Now Rhonda has joined a group of other lotto winners who are going to court to get their money.
Zimmerman, their attorney, said: “If any private business would engage in this kind of conduct selling tickets and not paying out the winner. The state would shut them down and indict them for fraud."