The issue of non-payment has been escalating for the state, which limited payouts to $25,000 earlier this year and this week slashed the maximum winnings to $600, offering winners an IOU on the balance. The state lottery agency has stopped payment on all prizes greater than $25,000 as it waits for the state Legislature to pass a budget and secure its funding. The Chicago Tribune reports two lottery winners have filed a lawsuit against the agency for not paying their winnings as a result of the prize freeze. They’re not alone, as the Tribune reports the state owes about $288 million in unpaid lottery prizes since the previous budget expired June 30. Some economists say that state lotteries already are a dicey proposition, with a lot of questions as to whether they achieve their goal of funding education.

WUSA9 was there as one man found out he had won $2,500 in cash prizes that he will have to wait to cash in on once the government shutdown is over. Subscribe to the mailing list and get a daily update with the most important news from Chicago! That’s because the lottery, due to gridlock in passing a new state budget, no longer has the money to pay people who win. Rhonda Rasche is waiting on a $50,000 prize from a scratch-off ticket, while Danny Chasteen is expecting a $250,000 check some-day, if the state can get its budget in order. The court order might just be coming, as a federal class action lawsuit filed against the state by a group of winners alleges they are waiting on a whopping $288 million in winnings.

However, that isn't keeping on gas station owner from cashing out some of his customers prizes.
Chris Christie's big bet — that New Jersey would reap outsize rewards by putting the lottery into private hands — isn't paying off.

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