Illinois Lottery’s ‘Red Ribbon Cash’ New Instant Game Available for Sale at 8,200 Retailers Statewide-- Nation’s Only HIV/AIDS Awareness and Prevention Lottery game
Unique instant game has raised over $5.2 million since 2008
|For Immediate Release||
Contact: Mike Lang 217-524-5158
Chanele Newton 312-368-5814
Chicago, IL – June 27, 2014 – The Illinois Lottery, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Public Health and several HIV/AIDS-prevention advocates, today launched Red Ribbon Cash – a $2 instant lottery game whose net proceeds are used for education and support programs that serve Illinoisans living with HIV/AIDS. The newest version of the instant game was unveiled at the James R. Thompson Center during a “Step Up, Get Tested” campaign announced this morning by the Chicago National HIV Testing Collaborative.
Since 2008 the Illinois Lottery has contributed over $5 million to the fight against HIV/AIDS, through the sale of special instant tickets. It’s the only lottery game in the nation whose profits are used exclusively to fund HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs. If the game sells out, the Lottery will raise $750,000 for prevention and treatment efforts.
“Red Ribbon Cash is a great example of why lotteries were created,” said Michael Jones, director of the Illinois Lottery. “Lotteries exist to allow citizens to make the choice to fund important causes. In Illinois, these causes include public schools, roads and bridges, and special causes like HIV/AIDS-prevention mandated by the Illinois General Assembly.”
“With Red Ribbon Cash, anyone over the age of 18, who would like to support AIDS awareness, treatment and prevention can buy a $2 Red Ribbon Cash instant ticket at any lottery retailer and have a chance to win up to $20,000 instantly,” Jones said. “But, win or lose, you know that buying a Red Ribbon Cash instant ticket will make a difference in the lives of thousands of Illinoisans.”
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the agency responsible for administering Red Ribbon Cash grants, Illinois ranks seventh nationwide in the diagnosis of HIV infections, and fifth in the estimated number of AIDS cases. In 2011, there were 1,760 new cases of HIV/AIDS diagnosed in Illinois. In Chicago, there are more than 20,000 people living with HIV/AIDS – three times the national prevalence rate.
“HIV and AIDS continue to be serious public health issues in Illinois,” said IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “We are pleased to be the recipient of funds generated from Red Ribbon Cash. Each year, we conduct over 50,000 HIV screenings throughout the state through our grant-funded agencies, local health departments and routine HIV screening initiatives. Red Ribbon Cash funds will help us further our HIV/AIDS outreach efforts.”
More information on the month-long “Step Up, Get Tested” campaign and other related initiatives, including testimonial videos, are available at www.redribboncash.com. The Red Ribbon Cash instant game can be purchased at some 8,200 Illinois Lottery retailers throughout the state. Overall odds of winning a prize are 1 in 4.65. If you don’t see Red Ribbon Cash displayed at your local retailer, please ask for it.
In addition to assisting people living with HIV-AIDS, the Lottery periodically offers specialty instant games that benefit other unique populations/programs, including: Illinois veterans, the fight against breast cancer, MS research, and, coming next year, Illinois Special Olympics athletes.
About HIV/AIDS in Illinois: For more information about HIV/AIDS in Illinois, call the Illinois AIDS/HIV & STD Hotline at 1-800-243-2437 or TTY (hearing impaired use only) 1-800-782-0423. It’s free and anonymous (no names). Trained counselors can help to answer your questions and help you to find a testing site that’s right for you. They are available seven days a week (9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends). To find the closest free HIV testing site by calling the department’s HIV/AIDS and STD Hotline at 1-800-AID-AIDS (1-800-243-2437). IDPH’s innovative Text2Survive mobile service also provides free HIV testing locations by texting IL plus ZIP code to 36363. This service is also available in Spanish by texting “CENTRO” plus ZIP code to 36363.
Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery has contributed over $18 billion to the state’s Common School Fund to assist K-12 public schools, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars to the Capital Projects Fund and to special causes like Illinois Veterans, the fight against breast cancer, MS research, and assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS. In addition to playing in-store, the Illinois Lottery offers online and mobile play for Mega Millions, Powerball and Lotto at www.illinoislottery.com. Players must be at least 18 years old.