Win more than $25,000 in the Illinois Lottery and the best you’ll get is the same thing you’ll get from your out-of-work brother-in-law sleeping on your couch, drinking all your beer — an IOU.
That is not good enough for two lottery winners. They’ve filed a federal lawsuit against the Illinois Lottery, which is continuing to sell tickets, even though it doesn’t have the authority to pay off anyone who wins more than $25,000.
Rhonda Rasche is waiting to collect the $50,000 she won on a $3 scratch-off ticket.
“I feel like my balloon was kind of deflated,” Rasche told reporters at a press conference. “I wasn’t totally banking on the money but it was pretty crushing. I just feel like it’s totally unfair.”
“You know what’s funny? If we owed the state money, they’d come take it and they don’t care whether we have a roof over our head,” Danny Chasten’s girlfriend, Susan Rick, told reporters at a press conference to announce the lawsuit. “Our budget wouldn’t be a factor. You can’t say (to the state), ‘Can you wait until I get my budget under control?’”
Honest Abe would not approve. As a store clerk he got his nickname by walking through miles of snow to refund a dime to a woman he’d inadvertently overcharged.
Illinois Rep. Jack Franks (D) doesn’t think that’s fair. He wants to force the issue.
“I don’t think this can wait ’cause this is a very, very important asset of the state which generates almost a billion dollars in revenue a year for the state,” Franks said. “And it could dry up overnight if people lose confidence.”