Cueto hands off MegaMillions suit for administrative hearing

Amelia Flood Jul. 14, 2009, 9:15am

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Lloyd Cueto has sent a suit over a MegaMillions lottery ticket to the Illinois Lottery Control Board for an administrative hearing.

The suit was brought by an East St. Louis man who claimed the state had failed to pay out his winnings.

In his July 2 ruling, Cueto granted the motion by defendant Illinois Lottery Control Board to remand the case. Cueto cited the fact that the State Immunity Act does not allow Illinois to be named as a defendant or party to a lawsuit. He further cited the Illinois Lottery Law under which the plaintiff could seek remedy through the ordered hearing.

Plaintiff Johnnie Cooper sued the lottery board over a lottery ticket he purchased in August 2007. According to his suit, Cooper's ticket contained the winning numbers. However, the lottery board refused to pay out his winnings, he claims.

Cooper had asked the St. Clair Court to declare him the winner and to order the lottery to pay out his MegaMillions.

Cooper represents himself.

The lottery board is represented by Assistant Attorney General Thomas Soraghan.

The case is St. Clair case number 09-L-190.

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