It was announced last month that both games would be suspended in Illinois at the end of June. The problem was that without a budget in place, non-essential government services ground to a halt and the state’s lottery did not have the required appropriation to contribute to the prize fund and ensure ticket holders would receive any money they were entitled to if they won.
There were fears that the uncertainty could drag on for some time, but the issue has now been resolved swiftly after a budget was passed for the state for the first time in three years. Mega Millions and Powerball have already returned to Illinois, and players have been reassured that everything is now back on track.
“The Illinois Lottery is pleased to announce that sales of Mega Millions and Powerball have resumed," said Illinois Lottery Acting Director Greg Smith. “We appreciate the loyalty of our players and retail partners as we continue our mission to fund K-12 education.”
Illinois players had been left facing the prospect of having to cross state borders to enjoy the game, and a similar situation has now arisen in Maine after ticket sales were halted earlier this week, also due to budgetary reasons.
Powerball and Mega Millions can generate enormous profits for participating states, and Illinois players can now look forward to trying to win the nine-figure jackpots available on both games this weekend, either by visiting authorised retailers or picking numbers online.