Winning the lottery is typically a time of celebration and exaltation, but that’s not the case for recent jackpot winners in the state of Illinois. Danny Chasteen, a 56-year-old manufacturing foreman from LaSalle County, is just one of the lucky, yet unfortunate winners stuck in lottery payments limbo as a result of state legislators failure to pass a budget by the July 1 deadline, according to ABC News.
“I bought a ticket and scratched it off. I don’t get it,” Chasteen said. “If it was me owing the state money, but I don’t have the budget together, they would take me to court and get my money.”
If Chasteen sounds a bit ornery it’s because he has 250,000 reasons to be. That’s how much he (supposedly) won on a “Cool Cash” scratch-off in late July. Over a month later, he still hasn’t seen a penny of it. According to state lottery officials, only payouts under $25,000 can be made until a new budget is approved. They issued the following statement:
“Due to the ongoing budget situation in Springfield, some lottery winner payments have been delayed. All winners will be paid in full as soon as the Lottery and the Illinois Comptroller have the legislative authority to do so.”
Until then Chasteen and other big winners are left with big IOUs. Not to mention bills, loans, and other expenses they have already planned to pay with their winnings.
Chasteen, for example, recently took out a $3,000 loan to pay off some bills — something he would not have done if the state lottery paid him on-time. Now he’ll be stuck paying that back — with interest.