Illinois Lottery Claim Centers reopened to the public on July 1, and just three days later they were forced to close their doors again.

Although the Illinois Lottery was prepared for an influx of people entering their claim centers on the first day they reopened, they must have WAY underestimated the amount of prizes that needed to be rewarded.

Last Thursday I noticed the Illinois Lottery posting claim center updates on Facebook, and each time I saw one it listed Rockford as "max capacity". I don't play the Lottery much, but I do know that you can claim prizes via mail, so I was surprised to find out that a lot of people haven't been taking advantage of that service during the COVID-19 quarantine. reports that since Illinois Lottery Claim Centers reopened on July 1st they have processed over 1,300 claims, but still found themselves in the midst of an "unprecedented ‘significant backlog’ wait for their unclaimed prizes."

So what exactly does that mean? Illinois Lottery Claim Centers throughout the state are now closed while they play catch up, I guess.

Illinois Lottery Acting Director Harold Mays recently told;

We anticipated a high volume of players and long wait times but in order to maintain proper social distancing in the centers many of those players had to wait a long time outside or in their cars.

Obviously waiting outside in extreme heat is not an ideal situation right now, so to avoid that, the Illinois Lottery is now urging people to claim prizes via mail instead. Find out how to do that now, by clicking here.

Catch Lil Zim on ‘Q98.5 Mornings with Lil Zim & JB’ on Q98.5 from 6:00 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow her on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook

KEEP READING: 50 community resources supporting Americans financially impacted by COVID-19

More From Rockford's New Country Q98.5