Illinois lottery writes bad checks by mistake

CHICAGO – The Illinois Lottery is apologizing to dozens of winners who picked up checks last week for their winnings, mostly for scratch-off tickets worth $1,000, only to find the Lottery’s bank wouldn’t cover the checks.

Of 311 checks written on Dec. 28, the Lottery’s bank failed to authorize payment to about 85, when a computer file that is supposed to be sent to the bank at 2 p.m. every day wasn’t sent in time, said Lottery spokesman Mike Lang. The Lottery was short-staffed because of the holidays, causing the file to be sent late, he said.

“We had some checks that, from the consumer’s, the player’s perspective, bounced, and we’re making it right,” Lang said.

The affected checks, about $159,000 worth, were mostly winners of $1,000, with the largest prize affected being $9,500, Lang said.

When winners went to deposit their checks, they were accepted by their banks, but when they tried to write checks or withdraw money, they found the funds weren’t there. If banks resubmitted the checks, however, they were covered.


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