The Illinois Lottery officials apologized to about 85 winners Friday after their winning checks bounced.
Maureen Furio of Lake Zurich, Ill. told CBS Chicago that she won $1,000 from an instant scratch-off ticket shortly after Christmas and got a check the next day.
“I deposited it the same day and went ahead and paid some extra Christmas bills,” Furio told the station. "And Jan. 3, it bounced.”
Lottery spokesman Mike Lang told the Chicago Tribune that the Lottery's bank failed to authorize about 85 payments of the 311 checks written out on Dec. 28. He said the incident was linked to a security authorization that was not sent to the bank on time, since they were short-staffed because of the holidays.
About $159,000 in checks were returned, Lang told the Associated Press. The Lottery will pay for any bank fees associated with the incident, and is sending free scratch-off tickets to those affected.
“It’s something that we are not happy with, and we’re taking steps” to see it doesn’t happen again, Lang told the Tribune.