Illinois Lottery Claim Center a rare government office that leaves visitors smiling

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago’s Pedway – an underground tunnel that’s helpful to get from right here to there however not the prettiest path.

Turns out, it isn’t all drab down right here.

Morning Insider Lauren Victory exhibits us when you comply with the beige flooring and flickering lights, you would possibly hit a pot of gold.

Head down the George W. Dunne Cook County Office Building escalator and, like a mirage, it seems: the Illinois Lottery Claim Center.

It’s a place of immediate happiness. CBS 2 instantly encountered Carl Hill doing a pleased dance.

“Heyyy! Heyyy! Big C! Lemme stop because I do have arthritis,” he stated with a chuckle. Hill calls enjoying the Illinois lottery his “daily investment” and he lastly cashed in with numbers that hit Wednesday night time. His take-home test: $1,000.

“Happy, happy. I don’t have a wife but I’m gonna look for a girlfriend,” stated Hill, bursting out laughing once more.

“Believe it or not, that’s the average customer here,” stated Luis Rodriguez of Hill’s jolliness.

Rodriguez heads up Illinois’s 5 lottery declare facilities in Chicago, Des Plaines, Rockford, Springfield and Fairview Heights.

People who win greater than $600 must redeem their prizes in individual.

Albert White is okay with that chore.

“I was at work and started jumping up and down,” stated White who collected a test for $2,500. He plans to pay payments with the money.

“I hope that I can come back because if I come back that means I’m a winner,” stated Linda Stevens who was coy about sharing her profitable quantity with CBS 2.

It’s pleasure that’s contagious however keep in mind, we’re speaking about a state-run facility. So, you may discover the standard to-do record: paperwork, ready and extra paperwork. Still, it beats the Clerk’s office (no offense).

“I like this one [government office]. This one feels like money,” stated Pamela Banks, one other winner who most well-liked to not reveal the quantity on her lottery test.

Tinsel and confetti blanket the office’s partitions now. Previously, white partitions and minimal decorations greeted claimants.

“When you win the lottery, it should be a celebration and we wanted to make sure when they came in, they were welcome. That they realize how happy we were to help change their lives,” stated Rodriguez of the renovations. The City location moved from the Thompson Center to the County constructing earlier within the pandemic.

Sometimes winners stroll away with much less money than they thought. Illinois Lottery checks for any state debt earlier than handing over a test.

“Should they owe money, what happens is the comptroller’s office will offset the amount that they owe from their winnings, and they’ll receive the rest of their winnings. So they still receive their money,” defined Rodriguez.

About 150 winners move by the Chicago location every single day.

“I can’t imagine another government office where people walk out skipping,” stated Rodriguez. 

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