Illinois will lose Powerball, Mega Millions without budget - KMOV.com

Illinois will lose Powerball, Mega Millions without budget

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CHICAGO (AP / KMOV.com ) - Illinois Lottery officials say players in the state could see the end of Powerball and Mega Millions games this month if Illinois doesn't end its budget impasse.

Acting Director Greg Smith said Thursday the lack of a budget will result in players being "denied the opportunity" to participate. The Chicago Sun-Times first reported the news.

The stalemate could enter a third year if there's no agreement by July 1.

The Sun-Times says Illinois reported $99 million in Mega Millions sales and $208 million in Powerball sales in 2016. About 40 percent of each comes back to Illinois in revenue.

The Multi-State Lottery Association runs Powerball and says it's working closely with Illinois. Mega Millions is run by a consortium of lotteries and defers questions to state officials.

Without those games, stores that sell the tickets could see a drop in customers. Those customers may start crossing state lines to try their luck. 

"I work at a gas station and I sell lottery. I get a lot of people playing Mega Millions and Powerball. That is the big thing poppin' in the city," says Ida Smith. 

Lottery player Ed Terry tells News 4 he is going to play as long as he can. 

"We need it because we could get that chance of being millionaires," says Terry. 

If he wins, he says he has a plan.

"Move away from Illinois after what you are telling me now. Move far away, go to Florida." 

Officials say Powerball would be suspended after the June 28 drawing and Mega Millions after the June 30 drawing.

This version of the story corrects that the Multi-State Lottery Association runs Powerball and not Mega Millions.

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