Illinois lottery winners file lawsuit over halted payments

CHICAGO (AP) — Two lottery winners have filed a federal lawsuit against the Illinois Lottery after it stopped paying out large prizes because there’s no state budget.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday by Rhonda Rasche and Danny Chasteen seeks class-action status.

Rasche is awaiting a $50,000 payout. Chasteen won $250,000.

The state comptroller’s office said last month that without a budget, there’s no authority to write checks over $25,000 and payments would be delayed.

The lawsuit says the lottery still pays wages. It seeks a court order to stop ticket sales until Illinois pays. It alleges dozens await more than $288 million in prizes.

A lottery spokesman didn’t return a message seeking comment.

Comptroller Leslie Munger says winnings can’t be paid without a budget, unlike other expenses dictated by court orders.