Illinois Lottery Stopping Online Ticket Sales on March 25thWednesday March 9th 2016
Illinois Lottery players will soon lose out on the ability to buy single tickets online for Mega Millions, Powerball and Lotto after a crucial hearing to keep the program running was canceled. A bill that would have seen online lottery ticket sales become a permanent fixture was introduced last year by both Republican and Democratic members of the Illinois House of Representatives, and a similar bill had already been passed in the state Senate.
However, both bills still needed to be submitted to their respective committees in order for the program to continue. It is unclear as to why the hearing was not held last Thursday, with Representative Ed Sullivan (R-Mundelein), the sponsor of the equivalent House bill, left confused as to why it wasn’t held before the state legislature adjourned for a one-month break.
Subscriptions for the three major draw games will still be offered, but the ability to buy one-off entries will be stopped on March 25th. However, the move may not be permanent; according to the Chicago Tribune, Illinois Lottery spokesperson Steve Rossi has said that the General Assembly might vote to reinstate the program when they return to work after the Easter break.
Illinois became the first state in the U.S. to offer online sales of single lottery tickets, and added a mobile app to their portfolio just two years later. According to Rossi, moving towards online sales has raised $68 million for good causes in the state - money which would be lost if the program stopped permanently.
In the meantime, you still have a chance to buy Illinois Lotto, Powerball and Mega Millions tickets online, with Thursday’s Lotto jackpot standing at a cool $26.25 million and Powerball at $50 million. Visit the Illinois Numbers page after the draw to see if you’re a winner!