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

Chicago, IL— January 13, 2014 — As the nation recognizes National AMBER Alert Awareness Day, the Illinois Lottery today announced that it will partner with state and local law enforcement agencies to provide assistance in broadcasting AMBER Alerts via the Lottery’s advertising monitors used in more than 8,200 Lottery retailers throughout the state.

“Child abduction is one of the worst nightmares any family can experience. The Illinois Lottery recognizes the importance and effectiveness of the AMBER Alert system, and is honored to be able to assist throughout the state,” said Illinois Lottery Director Michael Jones.

The Illinois AMBER Alert Notification Plan is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement agencies, broadcasters, and the National Weather Service to activate urgent bulletins in the most serious child abduction cases. This is the same concept used during severe weather emergencies. The goal of the AMBER Alert is to instantly galvanize the entire community to assist in the search for and safe return of children.

Since a majority of Lottery retailers are located near highways and transportation hubs throughout the state, this vast network of retailers will greatly increase message delivery for each Alert.

During an AMBER Alert, the Illinois Lottery will:

  • Send an immediate message to approximately 8,200 Lottery retailers statewide.
  • Display the message along with pictures of the abducted child (when available) on Lottery in-store display monitors statewide.
  • Feature the repeating message for 20 seconds every 60 to 90 seconds, until the alert is cancelled.

“Citizens in Illinois can take pride in the fact that they can help each and every time a child is abducted by simply being aware of their surroundings and reporting what they see to law enforcement,” said Illinois AMBER Alert Coordinator Craig Burge. “This collaborative effort will continue to provide the basis for the success of AMBER Alerts for years to come, he added.”

In 1996, nine-year-old Amber Hagerman was abducted while playing near her home in Arlington, Texas, and murdered. In response to community concern, the Texas Association of Radio Managers, with the assistance of Texas’ local area law enforcement, created the first AMBER Plan. All fifty states now have similar plans. Since the program’s inception, over 670 abducted children across the country have been safely recovered as a direct result of AMBER Alerts.

If you have any questions or need any additional information, please visit the AMBER Alert website at or call the Illinois Clearinghouse for Missing Children at 1-800-843-5763 (1-800 U HELP ME).


About Illinois Lottery

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 Players must be at least 18 years old.