Illinois Lottery Unveils New ‘MS Project’ Instant Game
Lottery has raised $6.5 million for Multiple Sclerosis research since 2008
|For Immediate Release||
Contact: Illinois Lottery, Mike Lang 217-524-5158
Illinois DPH, Melaney Arnold 217-558-0500
MS Society, Jeremy Barewin 312-423-1124
Springfield, IL – March 6, 2014 – As part of its legislative mandate to fund good causes, the Illinois Lottery today announced the launch of its latest instant game whose proceeds fund research in Illinois as to the cause, prevention, and future cure of multiple sclerosis (MS) – an often devastating disease. MS Project, the seventh edition of the “special cause” Lottery instant game that funds MS research, could generate over $1 million this year to support research programs. Since 2008, the Lottery, working closely with the National MS Society, has raised more than $6.5 million from the sale of MS instant games.
In announcing the new MS Project game during National MS Awareness Week, Illinois Lottery Director Michael Jones was joined today at the Capitol building in Springfield by John Blazek, President of the National MS Society Greater Illinois Chapter; Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health; and grant recipient Dr. Rob Motl, Director of the Exercise Neuroscience Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign.
“If you buy an MS Project instant ticket, whether you win $20,000 instantly or not, you’re helping create substantial funding for programs researching MS,” said Illinois Lottery Director Michael Jones. “This devastating disease is especially prevalent among young women, and all of us are affected by it through people we know who suffer from it. Now all of us have the opportunity to do something about it by buying MS Project tickets--and encouraging others to do the same.”
The MS Project instant game, if it sells out, will provide over $1 million for the Illinois Multiple Sclerosis Research Fund. Proceeds will be used to help physicians better understand the disease, and to enable researchers to continue their efforts to discover a cure. Each MS Project ticket costs $2 and includes a variety of cash instant prizes that range from $2 to $20,000 (four top prizes are available).
Multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and the body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted.
“Although MS is not considered a fatal disease because the majority of people with MS have a normal life-span, they may struggle to live as productively as they desire and often face increasing limitations,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “Funding MS research through the lottery ticket can help those with MS live healthier and happier lives.”
“The partnership with the Illinois Lottery and the funds generated through the scratch-off ticket are helping to propel new and innovative research throughout the state,” said John Blazek, President of the MS Society’s Greater Illinois Chapter. “This is another important step in our ongoing efforts to create a world free of MS.”
The Illinois Department of Public Health will continue to provide MS Project proceeds to the National MS Society, which, in turn, awards grants to organizations conducting MS research in Illinois. All grants funded by MS Project revenue have been, and will continue to be, reviewed and approved by the National MS Society’s Research Programs Advisory Committee, a panel that includes 75 leading scientists, physicians and other professionals from virtually every field related to MS.
“The Illinois Lottery funds gave us the huge boost we needed to expand one our most significant studies – the development of a comprehensive approach for addressing walking related problems in MS, which is among the biggest challenges that people living with the disease encounter on a daily basis,” said Dr. Rob Motl, a faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health at the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign, and Director of the Exercise Neuroscience Research Laboratory. Four of his University of Illinois colleagues received pilot grants from the Illinois Lottery in 2013.
MS Project is available at more than 8,200 Illinois Lottery retailer locations across the state. If you don’t see the game displayed please ask for it. For more information regarding MS Project, please visit www.msticket.com or for more information regarding multiple sclerosis, visit www.MSIllinois.org or www.gatewayMSsociety.org.
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.