Families in Illinois are outraged after the state has failed to pay their lottery winnings.
According to an attorney representing some of the winners, Tom Zimmerman, the state has yet to pay out $288 million in winnings, Yahoo! News reported.
The state announced recently that it would not be paying out any winnings over $600 until the budget crisis is resolved, TIME reported. However, TV ads promoting the lottery continue to air.
One lottery winner, Susan Rick, spoke to Inside Edition, saying: "We won. We finally can have a comfortable life. Suddenly you're gonna pull the rug out from under us. We had a ticket for $250,000."
A group of city employees in Chicago joined a lottery pool and wound up winning $1 million, but they haven't seen a cent of it.
Rhonda Rasche, a hospital clerk, said that after getting a winning scratch-off ticket for $50,000, officials told her that she would be receiving a check in the mail with her winnings in four to six weeks. It's been months and she has not yet been paid.
Rasche is part of a group of lottery winners who are suing the state to get their winnings.
"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," Zimmerman said.