Mega Millions and Powerball Sales Resume in IllinoisFriday July 7th 2017
Lottery fans in Illinois are now able to buy Mega Millions and Powerball tickets again after the state’s budget was passed. Illinois Lottery officials have thanked players for their patience during a difficult time and are pleased that they will now be able to start raising money to support education again.
Sales were halted in Illinois at the end of June due to a stalemate over the state’s budget. As the Illinois Lottery did not have an agreement in place with the state’s legislature to fund prize payments, there could be no guarantee that players would receive money they would be entitled to if they won prizes.
There was much uncertainty over how long the suspension would last, as the Illinois Lottery admitted the timing of a return was ‘unknown’. Powerball and Mega Millions players therefore had to travel outside of Illinois to buy tickets or use lottery messenger services to choose numbers online.
However, the suspension has now been lifted, after a budget was passed in the state for the first time in three years, which will allow Illinois to contribute to the prize pool. Players can now take part online or via authorized retailers within the state.
Illinois Lottery Acting Director Greg Smith said: “The Illinois Lottery is pleased to announce that sales of Mega Millions and Powerball have resumed. We appreciate the loyalty of our players and retail partners as we continue our mission to fund K-12 education.”
While Powerball and Mega Millions are now back up and running in Illinois, ticket sales remain suspended in Maine due to the state lottery’s inability to meet its contractual obligations. The annual profit from Powerball and Mega Millions in Illinois is estimated to be around $90 million, and the return of both games will come as a major boost to both the operator and players across the state.
The Powerball jackpot is currently $140 million, while Mega Millions stands at $186 million ahead of the next draw on Friday.