Winners suing Illinois Lottery try to rope in other states

Nov 9, 2015, 10:14 pm (19 comments)

Illinois Lottery

Multi-state lottery groups pushed back on Monday against a move by lottery winners in Illinois to drag dozens of states into a lawsuit against the Illinois Lottery's suspension of payments.

Illinois has halted payments on winnings of $600 or more due to the state's ongoing budget impasse.

A class action originally filed in September in U.S. District Court in Chicago seeking to force the Illinois Lottery to pay winners was amended last week to add as defendants lottery agencies in 43 states, Washington, D.C., the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico that participate in the Mega Millions and Powerball multi-state lotteries.

Among the claims by unpaid Illinois winners in the amended complaint are that the state lotteries violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act or RICO by "promising and advertising that a winning ticket would entitle the winner to payment of a prize - including winners from the state of Illinois."

"In spite of these promises and representations, the lottery departments and lottery directors knew that prize payments would not be disbursed to winners in the state of Illinois," the lawsuit stated.

An impasse between Illinois' Republican governor and Democrats who control the legislature has left the state without a budget for the fiscal year that began on July 1. As a result, the state's lottery initially stopped paying winners of $25,000 or more while continuing to advertise games, sell tickets and hold lottery drawings.

In October, that threshold dropped to winnings of $600 or more.

Paula Otto, executive director of the Virginia Lottery and lead director of the Mega Millions consortium, said the amended complaint's claims against the other state lotteries lack merit.

"Really, this is an issue just within the borders of Illinois," she said on Monday.

Jeff Anderson, executive director of the Idaho Lottery and board president of the Multi-State Lottery Association, which operates Powerball, said he expected the 40 lotteries in his group will try to dismiss the lawsuit.

"I don't personally see how it has any merit. It's an Illinois issue," Anderson said.

J. Samuel Tenenbaum, an associate professor at Northwestern University's law school, called the use of RICO in this case "pretty far-fetched," noting that the money will eventually be paid to Illinois lottery winners.

Steve Rossi, a spokesman for the Illinois Lottery, declined comment on the amended lawsuit, which seeks to halt Illinois ticket sales for games with potential winnings in excess of $600, as well as preventing the lottery from paying its operating expenses until winners are paid.

Thomas Zimmerman, an attorney representing unpaid Illinois Lottery winners owed at least $288.4 million, said he will seek a court order this week temporarily stopping the multi-state lottery providers from sending Illinois its share of winnings. Instead, that money would be deposited with the court clerk so it can earn interest and be paid out to winners, he added.

Reuters

Comments

noise-gate

let's hope it does not come to this....

Image result for rioting
 
djpowerball1234

Just a question ?, is the state of Illinois paying power ball and Mega millions its due when the games are being played or are they holding those monies also.

noise-gate

Quote: Originally posted by djpowerball1234 on Nov 9, 2015

Just a question ?, is the state of Illinois paying power ball and Mega millions its due when the games are being played or are they holding those monies also.

Just as there is separation between Church  & State - There should be  separation between the State Lottery & the State Budget.

Stack47

Quote: Originally posted by djpowerball1234 on Nov 9, 2015

Just a question ?, is the state of Illinois paying power ball and Mega millions its due when the games are being played or are they holding those monies also.

It's in the last paragraph and the lawyer is asking the court to put the money due to MUSL into a interest bearing fund.

Thomas Zimmerman, an attorney representing unpaid Illinois Lottery winners owed at least $288.4 million, said he will seek a court order this week temporarily stopping the multi-state lottery providers from sending Illinois its share of winnings. Instead, that money would be deposited with the court clerk so it can earn interest and be paid out to winners, he added.

Stack47

Quote: Originally posted by noise-gate on Nov 9, 2015

Just as there is separation between Church  & State - There should be  separation between the State Lottery & the State Budget.

I Agree! but they probably thought the budget would be passed by now and paying lottery winners is not a priority.

If a judge can order the state to pay lottery winners, why can't they order the state to pass a budget?

RJOh's avatarRJOh

Quote: Originally posted by noise-gate on Nov 9, 2015

let's hope it does not come to this....

Image result for rioting
 

That reminds of the 1968 Democratic convention.  I was a Vietnam veteran who had been out of the army for a year and used the vacation I had earned on my new job to travel to Chicago to see the Yippies demonstrating.

joshuacloak's avatarjoshuacloak

Wait a Sec...

They want all of our states to pay for a lawyer to defend ourselves for what the Illinois govt is doing to their own citizens?

 

DELotteryPlyr

Quote: Originally posted by Stack47 on Nov 10, 2015

It's in the last paragraph and the lawyer is asking the court to put the money due to MUSL into a interest bearing fund.

Thomas Zimmerman, an attorney representing unpaid Illinois Lottery winners owed at least $288.4 million, said he will seek a court order this week temporarily stopping the multi-state lottery providers from sending Illinois its share of winnings. Instead, that money would be deposited with the court clerk so it can earn interest and be paid out to winners, he added.

Huh, wonder if the state stops seeing the money coming in they might 'get it' and resolve this. 

lucky6025

OK so maybe if everyone that is owed money took the republican governor to small claims court and sued for maximum amount allowed then go after the democrats next this would make thing different. when money comes out of their pockets will hurry things up.I think small claims court allows 10,000.00 figure how many are owed money and that adds up fast.

RedStang's avatarRedStang

ILL is in trouble. This story is from 2013. Can't imagine what their dealing with now.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/02/illinois-unpaid-bills_n_3529836.html

KY Floyd's avatarKY Floyd

Quote: Originally posted by Stack47 on Nov 10, 2015

It's in the last paragraph and the lawyer is asking the court to put the money due to MUSL into a interest bearing fund.

Thomas Zimmerman, an attorney representing unpaid Illinois Lottery winners owed at least $288.4 million, said he will seek a court order this week temporarily stopping the multi-state lottery providers from sending Illinois its share of winnings. Instead, that money would be deposited with the court clerk so it can earn interest and be paid out to winners, he added.

If you read that again you might notice that it's about the money being sent to Illinois from other states. The question was about prize pool money that Illinois has to send to MUSL to fund the jackpot.

I'm just guessing, but I expect that money never becomes part of the state's general funds, and is paid directly from a lottery account that is not affected by the lack of a budget.

mypiemaster's avatarmypiemaster

Why are these lawmakers still getting paid?. They are not doing their jobs for sure. Next thing you know, the kitchen gets too hot and they adopt the city of Detroit's play book, then what are winners gonna do. State of Illinois politics is in the toilet and I am not going to be surprised if they decide to screw people over, just like the city of Detroit. Shame on you guys!!!.

Erzulieredeyes's avatarErzulieredeyes

The Powerball/Mega Millions should kick out the State of Illinois and ban them from participating in the game until they can afford to pay up. Don't go dragging other States into your crooked State because your State is too crooked and too cheap to pay you.

Erzulieredeyes's avatarErzulieredeyes

Quote: Originally posted by joshuacloak on Nov 10, 2015

Wait a Sec...

They want all of our states to pay for a lawyer to defend ourselves for what the Illinois govt is doing to their own citizens?

 

LOL @ OBJECTION!

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