Illinois Lottery

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History of the Illinois Lottery 

The Illinois Lottery has its roots dating back to July 1, 1974, amongst a ton of excitement in the state. During their first few years, it only sold what is called “passive” games through weekly drawings. 

In their first year of sales alone, it topped $129 million. Sales would later fall off as time went on since the attractiveness of the Lottery wore off and even had some to call for an end of the Illinois Lottery.

1980 was a lifesaver for the lottery as Pick 3 was introduced. Pick 3 allowed new life into the Lottery when sales reached $164 million during the first full year of operation.

Lottery profits were originally sent to the State’s General Revenue Fund. Then legislation was passed in 1985 to allow for all profits to be held for the Common School Fund, which is still the Lottery’s main benefactor. 

In 2006, Illinois residents experienced “specialty instant games.” These games benefited a particular cause such as Illinois Veterans, the fight against breast cancer, MS research, and additional assistance for people living with HIV-Aids. 

Later in 2010, the Lottery had begun contributing to the Capitol Projects Fund, which gives aid in building and renovating state roads and bridges.

The Lottery has shown to be an independent, cabinet-level entity for most of its operating history. On July 1, 2011, Northstar Lottery Group took over as the Lottery’s first private manager. 

Having Northstar’s assistance, on March 25, 2012, the Lottery then launched an internet sales project for Lotto and Mega Millions, which became the first US lottery to sell tickets on the internet. Several years later, on January 2, 2018, Camelot Illinois then took over as the new private manager of the Lottery.

The Lottery is operated by the direction of its Acting Director Harold Mays. It is also assisted by the Lottery Control Board, with operations spread out in locations in Chicago, Springfield, Des Plaines, Rockford, and Fairview Heights.

Types of Lottery Draw Games

The Illinois Lottery has more than a handful of exciting games. The biggest attraction can be found with their collection of draw games. 

These games typically have scheduled drawing times, days, and large jackpots. Below you will see a list of their current draw game offerings:

  • Pick 3
  • Pick 4
  • Powerball
  • Mega Millions 
  • Lotto Extra Shot
  • Lucky Day Lotto

Details for Each Illinois Lottery Game

Depending on what game you decide to play, you will see different characteristics for each one when it comes down to rules and the price for each ticket. Each game will cost a minimum of 50 cents all the way to $2, depending on what option you go with. 

Pick 3 is a daily draw game that has two drawing times. These times are at 12:40 PM and 9:22 PM, with a chance to win up to $500. 

Pick 4 is another daily draw game that also has two drawing time windows. These times are at 12:40 PM and 9:22 PM, with a chance to win up to $5000. 

Lucky Day Lotto is the final daily draw game on the list. This game has drawing times at 12:40 PM and 9:22 PM, with a chance to win up to an impressive $250,000 estimated jackpot. 

Lotto Extra Shot has a little different drawing schedule with three days a week for Monday, Thursday, and Saturday at 9:22 PM. This game has an estimated jackpot at $8.15 million, but this could change as prizes are won. 

Moving on the national level, fans of the lottery will notice Powerball and Mega Millions. Each jackpot will reset back to a minimum amount of $20 million after the grand prize has been won. 

For Powerball, the drawing times are for Wednesday and Saturday at 9:59 PM. With Mega Millions, the drawing times are for Tuesday and Friday at 10 PM. 

Prizes for Illionois Draw Games

As mentioned above, each game will carry its own prize amount. These will greatly range for the game you are playing. 

Some games have set jackpots in place, while others have progressive jackpots. Games like Mega Millions and Powerball will continue to grow until a lucky winner is able to claim the jackpot.