Including promotions and sweepstakes

Illinois Lottery celebrates 50-year anniversary with festivities and community giving

Reading time 1:10 min

The Illinois Lottery is gearing up to celebrate half a century of operations this July, marking 50 years since its inception in 1974. In celebration of the anniversary, the Illinois Lottery will be rolling out several promotions and sweepstakes aimed at engaging players.

Among these is the Celebration 2nd Chance promotion, offering participants the opportunity to win 50 weekly prizes of $500. Final prizes include five $50,000 winners and one $500,000 winner.

Another highlight is the Get in the Groove Sweepstakes, which offers instant tickets and a chance to win up to a $500 gift card.

The Illinois Lottery is also conducting a 50th-anniversary retail tour across the state until the end of August. This tour invites participants to join in games and activities while supporting the lottery’s ongoing efforts to benefit local communities.

Harold Mays, Director of the Illinois Lottery, said: "The Illinois Lottery started our journey back in July of 1974 and was the first state to air a drawing live on television. When we look back on all these years, there is so much nostalgia, excitement, and history to be proud of. Our rich history is what made the Illinois Lottery what it is today, and we continue to strive to make a difference in local communities across the state of Illinois."

Since 1985, the Illinois Lottery has contributed over $24 billion to the Common School Fund to assist K-12 public schools. However, its impact extends beyond education funding.

Its specialty scratch tickets, dedicated to specific causes such as the United Negro College Fund, Illinois DREAM Fund, and Alzheimer’s Association, have raised over $92 million since 2006. These funds support vital initiatives ranging from healthcare to education and social welfare.

Looking ahead, the Illinois Lottery plans an event in downtown Chicago on July 18.

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