Monday February 3 2014 – Illinois Lottery is urging players to be on the lookout for a new Powerball lottery scam currently in circulation. The scam, which came to light last week, informs players that they have won a prize through a charitable gesture from the previous Illinois Powerball jackpot winners, Merle and Patricia Butler from Red Bud.
The couple won $218.6 million in March 2012 and the scam uses their jackpot win to try and trick players into believing that the Butlers wish to share their win but, to be eligible to receive their “prize”, players must pay a fee.
Illinois Lottery became aware of the scam when a female resident from Lake in the Hills contacted officials last Tuesday to tell them that she had received a convincing email. The email was sent from a Hellenic Bank official outlining that, as a token of goodwill, she had been awarded $920,000 from the Red Bud jackpot winners.
The fake email included a picture of the alleged bank official and a link to the story about the Red Bud jackpot winners. Speaking about the scam, the woman said: “Everyone in Illinois has heard about the Red Bud winners, it made me realize there might be a lot of people fooled by this particular scam.”
Illinois Lottery officials have been quick to respond to the latest scam with Michael Jones, Illinois Lottery Director saying that “potential lottery scams are now daily occurrences in Illinois, throughout the rest of the United States, and many foreign countries.”
“If anyone calls, or emails, or stops you on the street to “award” you a lottery cash prize, contact the authorities; it’s very likely a scam.”
If you are worried about falling victim to a lottery scam, LotteryWorld would like to remind you of these key points:
- The only way to win a lottery prize is to have purchased a valid ticket and have matched one of the winning combinations.
- Lottery officials will never ask for a payment in order to release your winnings.
- Lotteries never enter players into drawings or promotions without the player’s consent.
Further information on lottery scams can be found on Lottery.net.