State of Illinois loses $4 million in lottery revenue due to budget crisis
That total comes from $2.4 million lost due to the absence of Powerball ticket sales and $1.4 million lost due to the absence of Mega Millions ticket sales.
Illinois Lottery officials said the state lost about $4 million due to the budget impasse, according to the Chicago Tribune. That total comes from $2.4 million lost due to the absence of Powerball ticket sales and $1.4 million lost due to the absence of Mega Millions ticket sales.
Officials from the Multi-State Lottery Association, or MUSL, announced June 15 they would remove their Powerball and Mega Millions games from Illinois if lawmakers failed to pass a budget by the end of the fiscal year. Powerball left Illinois June 28, and Mega Millions left June 30, according to the Tribune. State lawmakers did not pass a budget until July 6, when they succeeded in overriding Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a $36 billion budget with $5 billion in tax hikes. Ticket sales resumed that night.
According to the Tribune, the near-week without Powerball or Mega Millions hurt some small shops that sell lottery games. Even if a store does not rely on lottery ticket sales, revenues can decrease because lottery players often buy items along with their tickets.
Before MUSL’s games were removed from Illinois racks, the state comptroller’s office announced it would not be able to pay winners of prizes greater than $25,000 without a budget. The last time the Illinois Lottery struggled to receive state appropriations, it eventually had to delay payments of winners of $600 or more.
Illinois Lottery Chief of Staff Jayme Odom said it is unclear if sales recovered from the games’ six-day absence, according to the Tribune.