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Families Outraged After Illinois Fails to Pay Out $288 Million in Lottery Winnings

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(CHICAGO)  Lottery winners in Illinois may have hit the jackpot – but they have not been paid.

The state recently announced that it was not paying out any winnings worth more than $600 until its budget crisis is resolved – but it’s still running TV ads promoting the lottery.

An attorney representing some of the winners, Tom Zimmerman, has said there is a staggering $288 million in winnings waiting to be paid out.

One winner, Susan Rick, told INSIDE EDITION: “We won. We finally can have a comfortable life. Suddenly you’re gonna the rug out from underneath us. We had a ticket for $250,000.”

A group of Chicago city employees had joined a lotto pool and won a million dollars – but they still haven’t seen a penny of it either.

Rhonda Rasche, a  49-year-old hospital clerk, said that after winning $50,000 in a scratch-off lotto, officials told her she’d receive a check in the mail in four to six weeks. That was a few months ago.

“I’ve been waiting for a check for $50,000,” she said.

Rhonda has joined the other lotto winners who are suing to get their money.

Zimmerman, their attorney, said: “If any private business would engage in this kind of conduct selling tickets and not paying out the winner. The state would shut them down and indict them for fraud.”