CBS Chicago 09-09-2015
Jackpot Winners Suing Illinois Lottery As State Budget Impasse Blocks Payments
September 09, 2015
By Steve Miller
Big jackpot winners are suing the Illinois Lottery – because they haven’t seen a penny of their
prize money since there is no state budget yet.
It’s the big winners who haven’t been paid, the ones who won more than $25,000 since July 1.
“You can imagine the joy that they had at that time, only to later find out that the state is refusing to pay out the money – money that is sitting in a bank account earning interest for the state,” said attorney Tom Zimmerman.
Zimmerman is the attorney representing lottery jackpot winners in a federal class action suit.
“The lottery winners are counting on that money,” he said. “Some folks have taken out loans and are paying interest on loans with the anticipation that they will be receiving the lottery money.”
Zimmerman says his clients want their money with interest.
One client, Rhonda Raschel, won $50,000. Another, Danny Chasteen, won $250,000
According to the Illinois Lottery website, the state currently owes about $288 million to at least 29 people.
The Illinois Lottery spokesman said he could not comment on the lawsuit.
The state’s comptroller, Leslie Munger, said that because the payments are not under a court order, Illinois cannot cut those lottery checks without a budget in place.