KENOSHA (WKOW) –
After some lottery ticket sales are cut off in Illinois because the state doesn’t have a budget, some are trying their luck in Wisconsin.
Illinois hasn’t had a budget in more than two years. Just last week the state cut off sales of Powerball tickets, and Mega Millions could be next. Now if you win the lottery in Illinois, you couldn’t collect your winnings until a budget is passed.
That’s leading people to cross the border into Wisconsin to try their luck, according to our affiliate WISN.
At Lou Perrine’s Gas and Grocery in Kenosha, lottery tickets are big sellers. Those sales are only growing with Illinois’ lottery temporarily stalled.
“If they don’t fix the budget we’re going to see a huge jump in sales,” said employee Anthony Perrine.
Early numbers back that up. The Wisconsin Lottery analyzed sales at a few stores in Pleasant Prairie Thursday, the day after sales of Powerball tickets stopped. “Since last Thursday, there was a 155 percent increase in sales,” said Cindy Polzin, director of the Wisconsin Lottery.
Illinoisans aren’t surprised. “Obviously I’d go somewhere where I know I’m going to get my money if I won,” said Joseph Lobono. “If Illinois is going to stop funding, uh, selling tickets for the lottery, I mean, it’s right over the border here so we’re kind of the lucky ones,” said lottery player Joshua Terry.
Stores like Perrine’s are lucky too, because it’s not just lottery ticket sales getting a boost. “Statistically anyone that buys a lottery ticket buys one other item in a store,” said Perrine. “Chances are they’re going to continue to do their one stop shop we’re a convenience store for a reason.”
Although the Illinois state House passed a budget Sunday, it’s not a done deal. It has to pass the state Senate, and Governor Bruce Rauner says if it crosses his desk, he’ll veto it.
Illinois is at risk of becoming the first to get the credit downgrade to “junk”, which could make money problems even worse.