Illinois Lottery winners will soon get the money they’re owed. The Illinois Lottery praised the release of funds found in a bill passed by the General Assembly and signed by the governor Monday and said the agency expects to process winnings claims in the order they were received. Claim processing is to begin December 14th once the funds are transferred to the department’s accounts. However, the release of the funds won’t stop a lawsuit against the Lottery from moving forward.
Attorney Tom Zimmerman represents winners in that class action lawsuit and says that interest from those winnings, some having not been paid out since the beginning of the budget impasse, is not the state’s money. That money belongs to the winners.
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The comptroller’s office says they agreed to last week’s order from a federal judge requiring the winnings and interest on those winnings to be held in a separate account to ensure they are not used for other purposes. Meanwhile Lottery Director B.R. Lane says the Lottery will return to the business of supporting education, capital projects and select services throughout the state.