Illinois could lose Powerball, Mega Millions without budget

A crowd gathers in front of the store that sold the winning $447.8 million Powerball ticket in Menifee Monday. Lottery officials say they still don’t know who bought the winning $447.8 million Powerball jackpot ticket from the Southern California liquo

Use those lucky numbers while you still have the chance, because by the end of June the Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries may be on their way out of IL.

The Powerball lottery and Mega Millions games chose to pull out of IL at the end of the month.

Concern over the state of Illinois' fiscal condition prompted that decision by the Multi-State Lottery Association, according to internal Illinois Lottery communications.

Convenience store owners and lottery players alike are anxious about the potential impact of Illinois' ongoing budget impasse.

An Illinois Lottery spokesman says the association has never considered dropping these games before. "This is why it's so critical the General Assembly deliver a balanced budget to the governor's desk that he can sign".

The Sun-Times says IL reported $99 million in Mega Millions sales and $208 million in Powerball sales in 2016. It's unclear how much IL received.

According to the Chicage SunTimes, lottery officials say it was due to the state of the IL budget.

"Customers want a one-stop shop, and if we can't offer Powerball and Mega Millions, they're going to go elsewhere", he said. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats controlling the Legislature have been deadlocked since 2015.

He says the budget stalemate that's now threatening to stretch into its third year is merely representative of the political and social problems that plague the state.

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