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Illinois lottery winners file class-action lawsuit against state

Illinois LotteryIllinois Lottery: Illinois lottery winners file class-action lawsuit against state
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Includes video report

Rhonda Rasche had a great plan for the $50,000 she won from a scratch-off Illinois Lottery ticket.

She wanted to help her best friend cope with the loss of her mother.

"I wanted to take her and her sister on a trip because they were doing at-home hospice for her, and it was pretty tough on all of them emotionally [and] physically," said Rasche, 48, of Homer Glen.

She never made that trip. Instead, Rasche became one of two plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit filed Wednesday against the Illinois Lottery. The suit accuses the Lottery of fraud for withholding winnings over $25,000.

"They are still selling tickets. There's no signs posted anywhere," Rasche said. "Many of my family and friends were unaware of this. If you didn't catch the news that one Friday night, you pretty much didn't know about it."

On August 28, the Illinois Lottery confirmed payments over $25,000 would be delayed to winners, including scratch-off ticket wins.

"All winners will be paid in full as soon as the Lottery and the Illinois Comptroller have the legislative authority to do so," Lottery spokesman Steve Rossi said at the time.

The class action complaint filed Wednesday morning alleges plaintiffs Rasche and Danny Chasteen are among more than two dozen winners who are awaiting payment of a combined total of more than $288 million in prizes that should have been paid since the last state budget expired June 30.

The suit claims the lottery has continued to pay wages — including the $142,000 salary of acting lottery director B.R. Lane — and money owed to the agency's private management company, Northstar Lottery Group.

The suit is seeking a court order to prevent the Lottery from selling tickets and games with potential wins over $25,000; to stop making payments to finance the Lottery; to issue payments to the plaintiffs and to inform people buying tickets that they won't be getting their money if they win over $25,000.

It's also seeking any interest made on the winners' money, which the state is now holding onto.

The suit claims there have been 29 winners since July 1, ranging from $50,000 to a $262 million Mega Millions jackpot split by two winners — the second largest prize in the history of the Illinois Lottery.

Attorney Thomas Zimmerman said the state's withholdings of winnings is illegal.

"The Illinois Lottery Act requires a priority of payments. The first priority is that prizewinners get paid. They get paid first. After they're paid, then the money can be used to fund the operations of the lottery," Zimmerman said. "The state is using the money to fund the operation of the lottery and not paying the prizewinners, and that's a violation of the law."

Danny Chasteen is the other plaintiff in the suit. He won $250,000 on a $5 Cool Cash scratch-off. Susan Rick, his girlfriend of seven years, said she's upset the budget impasse is affecting jobs and services for low-income state residents, including Lottery players.

"Why is it always the lower income people, the ones that don't have money that suffer whenever the state is having an issue?" Rick, 48, of Oglesby, said.

Zimmerman said other winners have also reached out to join the class-action suit.

The Illinois Lottery Department, Illinois Lottery Control Board and Northstar Lottery Group are named as defendants.

The Illinois Lottery said it would not comment on the pending litigation.

VIDEO: Watch the press conference

6_BDtUpl9u8Illinois lottery winners file class-action lawsuit against stateA pair of lottery winners have filed a federal lawsuit against the Illinois Lottery, which still is selling tickets despite its inability to pay prizes greater than $25,000 until state lawmakers pass a budget.T03M34Shttps://img.youtube.com/vi/6_BDtUpl9u8/2.jpghttps://youtu.be/6_BDtUpl9u82015-09-10T08:51:00-05:00

Chicago Sun-Times, Lottery Post Staff

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58 comments. Last comment 1 year ago by Drenick1.
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zinniagirl's avatar - flower avatar_0026.jpg
nc
United States
Member #99520
October 26, 2010
375 Posts
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Posted: September 10, 2015, 9:23 am - IP Logged

Sure didnt take long for the lawyers to get involved...

    sully16's avatar - sharan
    Ringleader
    Michigan
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    October 28, 2009
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    Posted: September 10, 2015, 9:25 am - IP Logged

    Massive mismanagement. Sad

    Did you exchange a walk on part in the war ?

    For a lead role in a cage?

     

                                                From Pink Floyd's " Wish you were here"

      RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
      mid-Ohio
      United States
      Member #9
      March 24, 2001
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      Posted: September 10, 2015, 9:34 am - IP Logged

      Since lotteries are suppose to generate the funds that pay the prizes totally independent of the state budget it does seem strange that the state would continue to sell tickets, collect the monies and not paid the prizes.  Most of the money for the MM prize came from other states that contributed 30% of their sales to the jackpot.

       * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
         
                   Evil Looking       

        CDanaT's avatar - tiger avatar_04_hd_pictures_169016.jpg
        TX
        United States
        Member #121193
        January 4, 2012
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        Posted: September 10, 2015, 9:44 am - IP Logged

        Well fellow LPer's, there we have it. 1 of 50 state governments(not including the A** clowns in Washington DC) that are in typical BS chaos when it comes to running something as simple as a lottery. Something that generates money by voluntary participation, NOT A TAX mind you, just a simple exchange of money by an individual who says, "here is my money for your ticket" to legally allow a chance to win some or a large sum of money. The government saying," sure, we will take your money but anything over $25K, well, we are going to hold onto it for an unknown amount of time".
        The winners of the $262 Million/$159.7 Cash won their jackpot on June 2nd (Williams & Logue) haven't been paid ? And the budget expiration was June 30th ? <scratching head> Guess the may have waited a bit to collect orrrrrrrrrrrrrr the payout was not given before June 30th.

        To the Government of Illinois - Shut lottery sales down completely or only sell tickets that you will legally honor up to the $25K payout until your budget is resolved. Then change it so the lottery is not tied to the budget.

        To the Illinois residents - Don't buy any lottery tickets at all or go to neighboring states to purchase other tickets such as the PB/MM/ or game of your choice.

        Puke

        Stay Positive, Believe and good things will come your way

          MADDOG10's avatar - smoke
          Beautiful Florida
          United States
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          July 18, 2004
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          Posted: September 10, 2015, 9:44 am - IP Logged

          Now is the Time to get these people out of their elected jobs, and renew the whole field. The Lottery should be a Totally different Entity, and not connected to any type of State budget. The Lottery Fund  is just that , The fund for the Lottery.

                                                       

                                                         "  When Injustice Becomes Law, Resistance Becomes Duty "

            Gleno's avatar - Lottery-001.jpg
            New Jersey
            United States
            Member #80354
            September 25, 2009
            705 Posts
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            Posted: September 10, 2015, 11:11 am - IP Logged

            Great to read that the winner is taking legal action against the Illinois Lottery.

            Thinking of...

              Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
              Zeta Reticuli Star System
              United States
              Member #30470
              January 17, 2006
              10351 Posts
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              Posted: September 10, 2015, 12:07 pm - IP Logged

              If they can't pay it they shouldn't book it.

              Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

              Lep

              There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

                Scratch$'s avatar - sm lottery.jpg

                United States
                Member #158848
                September 5, 2014
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                Posted: September 10, 2015, 12:17 pm - IP Logged

                Illinois deserves to be sued. Best of luck to the plaintiffs.

                Scratchers ~ Cash 5 ~ Powerball ~ Mega Millions

                  Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                  Chief Bottle Washer
                  New Jersey
                  United States
                  Member #1
                  May 31, 2000
                  23266 Posts
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                  Posted: September 10, 2015, 12:41 pm - IP Logged

                  Since the Illinois Comptroller is not performing their job and signing lottery winner checks during the budget talks, then they should not be receiving a paycheck -- either now or retroactively when the budget is finalized.

                  This story highlights the tremendous chasm of responsibility and fairness between the private sector and government.  This is the reason people are fed up with government and are turning to private sector folks like Donald Trump to get things done.

                   

                  Check the State Lottery Report Card
                  What grade did your lottery earn?

                   

                  Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
                  Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                    RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                    mid-Ohio
                    United States
                    Member #9
                    March 24, 2001
                    19826 Posts
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                    Posted: September 10, 2015, 12:55 pm - IP Logged

                    Since the Illinois Comptroller is not performing their job and signing lottery winner checks during the budget talks, then they should not be receiving a paycheck -- either now or retroactively when the budget is finalized.

                    This story highlights the tremendous chasm of responsibility and fairness between the private sector and government.  This is the reason people are fed up with government and are turning to private sector folks like Donald Trump to get things done.

                    I'm sure Illinois is honoring its commitment to transfer 30% of its sales to MUSL for the MM and PB jackpots or they wouldn't be selling PB and MM tickets.  Government can't and won't be any more responsible than the people elected to run it.  Irresponsible politicians should be booted out of government.

                     * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
                       
                                 Evil Looking       

                      JADELottery's avatar - MeAtWork 03.PNG
                      The Quantum Master
                      West Concord, MN
                      United States
                      Member #21
                      December 7, 2001
                      3675 Posts
                      Online
                      Posted: September 10, 2015, 1:35 pm - IP Logged

                      Back in Wisconsin and here we call 'em FIB's.

                      'I' is for Illinois.

                      Now, the 'B' has a new name, Bureaucrats.

                      If you want to know what the 'F' is, you can guess, or PM us.

                      Presented 'AS IS' and for Entertainment Purposes Only.
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                      Use at your own risk.

                      Order is a Subset of Chaos
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                      Jehocifer

                        spartan1707's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
                        Tucson
                        United States
                        Member #119762
                        December 2, 2011
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                        Posted: September 10, 2015, 2:11 pm - IP Logged

                        Well said!!!

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                          New York
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                          Posted: September 10, 2015, 2:28 pm - IP Logged

                          This situation seemingly eliminates any quandary as to the annuity payment-cash value option where applicable- get your money and eliminate your government partner ASAP.

                            mjwinsmith's avatar - moon

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                            Posted: September 10, 2015, 5:03 pm - IP Logged

                            Amen

                            Illinois should pay interest on the winnings from date of  win to date of payment @ 18.90% interest, same rate the Banks charge on credit card purchases.

                            Mad

                            "Don't be a Dummy, Make 'Dat Money"

                            Mjwinsmith's Blog Page:   http://blogs.lotterypost.com/mjwinsmith/

                            "How to Play My Pick-4 System": https://www.lotterypost.com/thread/306450