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Illinois lottery troubles could boost Wisconsin sales

BELOIT, Wis - Illinois residents are placing their bets on Wisconsin for a chance to win the lottery. That’s because, even if they win in Illinois, chances are they might have to wait a while before being able to get their money.

If you win the lottery in Illinois, you  might have to be patient before you will be able to get your money.

The state of Illinois  is dealing with a number of financial problems and does not have the money to pay jackpots more than $25,000. 

State lottery officials announced Tuesday that if Illinois doesn't reach a budget deal by the end of the month, before the start of the fiscal year, the state plans to halt the sale of Powerball and Mega-Million tickets.

If that sounds familiar, it's because the state did the same thing to players for months two years ago.In 2015, the Illinois lottery didn't get the funding it needed until December, delaying payment for 3,900 winning tickets.

The mobile gas station on Milwaukee Road in Beloit has  already seen an increase in lotto sales in the past two weeks from Illinois residents.

"They come with different envelopes for their friends and for everyone. So they buy everyone tickets over here," Syad Hussaini said.

Hussaini, who manages the books at the gas station. In the past two weeks, he said, lotto sales have increased about 30 percent, with $8,000 in revenue a week, which he hopes will continue.

"We are selling a lot now and I think because these people are coming, they will tell other people also so it will build up," he said.

If there is no budget deal, Powerball tickets sales in Illinois will stop on Wednesday night;  Mega Million sales will stop Friday night in Illinois.

The state of Illinois hasn't passed a budget for two straight years, has $15 billion in unpaid bills and owes a quarter-trillion dollars to public employees.


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