Comedian Andy Richter Stars in New Illinois Lottery Campaign $103M Powerball prize kicks off new jackpot-awareness Ads

Conan O’Brian Sidekick directs & stars in newest Lottery/Downtown Partners campaign

For Immediate Release Contact: Chanele Newton 312-368-5814


Chicago, IL—February 28, 2013 —Comedian and TV personality Andy Richter is starring in the Illinois Lottery’s new multi-media advertising campaign that launched today to promote the $103 million Powerball jackpot. This campaign will air on TV when the Mega Millions or Powerball Jackpot exceeds $100 million.

The TV commercials are directed by Richter, sidekick of network comedian Conan O’Brien, and are produced by Chicago-based production company, Story. They feature Richter creating the role of Gil Mitchell, an eccentric, charming and slightly silly news anchor tasked with informing Illinoisans about huge Lottery jackpots. The new campaign also includes television, radio, digital and out-of-home components.

“Research done during the $656 million Mega Millions jackpot almost a year ago indicated that almost half of the adults in Illinois were unaware of the prize amount,” said Illinois Lottery Superintendent Michael Jones. “Yet after the drawing everyone knew that one of the winners was from Redbud, Illinois. We hope that Gil Mitchell will create that same kind of universal awareness among adults so that they can take a chance, if they choose to at either a lottery retailer or on the Internet, when the Powerball or Mega Millions prize exceeds $100 million.”

“Working with Andy was so much fun,” said Jim Schmidt, Partner and Creative Director at Downtown Partners Chicago, “These commercials are sure to gain attention, provide information about the jackpot and make people laugh. The Gil Mitchell character gets the message across using a delivery persona that is delightfully unconventional and ultimately entertaining.”

“We are excited to explore Andy’s type of humor in our advertising,” said Marco Tasso, CEO of Northstar Lottery Group, private manager for the Illinois Lottery. “All team members involved in the project are fans of Richter’s comedy and work on Conan. During the shoot, we were impressed by his creative and directorial capabilities and look forward to airing additional ‘Gil Mitchell’ vignettes soon to maximize the opportunity provided by large grand prizes.”

Downtown Partners Chicago is the advertising agency which created the Anything’s Possible, Lucky Day Lotto, Holiday, and Birthday Surprise campaigns for the Lottery.

Click the highlighted text to see Gill in action: “Sand”


About Illinois Lottery

Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery has contributed $17.5 billion to the state Common School Fund to assist K-12 public schools, as well as the Capital Projects Fund. Players must be at least 18 years old.


About Downtown Partners:

Downtown Partners is a full service communications company that helps brands reach their audience in the most meaningful way possible.