Illinois Lottery Awards more than $1.1 Billion to Players
Superintendent announces 3rd consecutive year exceeding $2 billion
|For Immediate Release||Contact: Tracy Owens (312) 793-1682 (office)|
Springfield, Ill. – September 24, 2009 – The Illinois Lottery sold 102,491,802 winning tickets in fiscal year 2009. Players claimed more than $1.1 billion in prizes from July 1, 2008, to June 31, 2009, with the highest single-year sales—more than $2.09 billion—in the Lottery’s 35-year history. During FY09, the Illinois Lottery added 36 people to its millionaire list. Since 1974, the Illinois Lottery has created 1,244 millionaires.
“We are excited that our players have won so much by playing the Lottery,” said Jodie Winnett, acting superintendent for the Illinois Lottery. “During this tough economic time, it is so great to know that we are able to give Illinois residents the opportunity to have that extra cushion to help with finances.”
In FY09, the Lottery also improved games that players have enjoyed for years, such as their Bingo Suite. These enhancements increased average weekly Bingo sales by approximately 30% for the last half of the fiscal year as compared to the same period of time in FY08.
With an effort to “go green” the Lottery’s FY08 annual report was only available online, and in May 2009 the Lottery began accepting Mega Millions subscriptions online to cut down on the use of paper. In less than two months, more than 3,500 Mega Millions subscriptions have been activated for a total of $496,574 in sales.
The organization also embraced social networking for the first time with the launch of a Twitter account and Facebook fan page to connect with those “tech-savvy” players. This allows the Lottery to inform players about big jackpots, new promotions and quickly let players know “real people, win real money” across the state.
“We’ve seen many successful promotions take place throughout the past year,” said Winnett. “And we look forward to more promotions that will increase sales for the Lottery and allow us to support public schools throughout the state by contributing to the Common School Fund.”
Transfers to the Common School Fund reached $625 million. In addition, through the sale of cause-specific “specialty” instant games, in FY09 the Lottery raised $1.28 million for Illinois veterans groups, $1.125 million for the battle against breast cancer, $345,000 to improve the lives of people living with AIDS and $2.37 million to help create a world free of MS.
Winnett attributes the Lottery’s success in FY09 to several factors including; responding to player suggestions, improving service to retailers, and offering attractive products and promotions with strong player appeal.
Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery has contributed over $20 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.