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Mega Millions and Powerball sales are back

With a state budget approved, ticket sales for the Mega Millions and Powerball games can resume, the Illinois Lottery said Thursday. | File photo

“The Illinois Lottery is pleased to announce that sales of Mega Millions and Powerball have resumed,” Illinois Lottery Acting Director Greg Smith said in a statement Thursday night.

Players can buy tickets once again at retail locations, and via the lottery’s mobile app and website, Smith said.

A House override of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto on Thursday meant the state finally had a budget after going 736 days without one.

The drawings were suspended when lawmakers couldn’t reach an agreement on the state’s budget in Springfield last week. The last Powerball drawing happened June 28 and the last Mega Millions drawing was held Friday.

Earlier in June, the Multi-State Lottery Association announced it was dropping Powerball in Illinois. Mega Millions also said it was dropping the state until a budget agreement was reached.

Additionally, the Illinois Lottery said last week it won’t be able to pay prizes over $25,000 without a budget by July 1. That also happened in 2015 and sparked lawsuits from players who wanted their winnings.

Prize payment delays also ended on Thursday night, the lottery said.

“We appreciate the loyalty of our players and retail partners as we continue our mission to fund K-12 education,” Smith said.