This is one of the best Christmas gifts ever!

Elgin Resident wins $380,000 IL Lottery prize Christmas morning

For Immediate Release Contact: Micaela Small (630) 486 0658

Elgin, IL— January 10, 2013— For years it has been a Christmas morning tradition for the Abner family to open gifts, then have coffee while they scratch the instant lottery tickets they give each other. “It was a little different this year because suddenly we were all cheering and passing my ticket around,” said James Abner, who scratched a Cash For Life instant ticket and won $500 a week for life.

The winning ticket was a gift from his son. “It’s one of the best Christmas gifts ever – we’ll be debt-free because of this lottery win,” he said. Abner, a truck driver, is married with two sons and two grandchildren. He chose the one-time cash option of $380,000. In addition to paying off debts he plans to save some of the windfall for retirement.

The winning ticket was purchased at 7-Eleven, 1024 South McLean Boulevard in Elgin. The store received a $3,800 bonus, 1 percent of the prize amount, for selling the winning ticket.

The Lottery offers a number of versions of the Cash for Life instant game including games with top prizes of $500, $1,000, $2,500 and $5,000 a-week-for-life. The newest member of the Cash for Life family, 20X20, offers a top prize of $20,000 a week for 20 years. For more information, please visit

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.