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Illinois Not Paying Out Big Lottery Jackpots Amid Budget Standoff

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Illinois Lottery says big winners since July 1st aren't getting any money yet because there's no state budget, meaning the state has no legal authority to pay out lottery winnings.

The good news is: You won the lottery.

"It was a happy day. My husband was really excited. I thought he was going to have a heart attack," said 73-year-old Helen Whitfield of Bourbonnais.

The bad news is: It may be awhile before you're paid.

"I don't think it's fair. They should have that money in there if somebody hits it," she said.


Whitfield said she and her husband have a total of seven children - including an 8-year-old adopted son who has Down syndrome, and two holes in his heart.

They were planning to move to Florida - since they won a $400,000 prize in the lottery.

She says her husband called the lottery - wondering where the money is.

"He called and he said, 'Can't you put a rush on it? It's been since July 20 I hit it,'" she said.

But the lottery says because of the "ongoing budget situation" in Springfield, payments above $25,000 are delayed.

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