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An Instant Ticket is Not a Kids’ Game

November 24, 2020

Instant tickets are fun gifts for adults—but not for minors

CHICAGO—The holiday season is here, and the Illinois Lottery wants to remind players that holiday instant tickets are a great gift for almost everyone on the list — just not for minors. 

“The Illinois Lottery is dedicated to promoting responsible gaming, which includes responsible holiday gifting,” said Illinois Lottery Acting Director Harold Mays. 

Instant tickets can serve as a fun and festive present for adults. For instance, players enjoy giving tickets hidden in cookie tins, paired with cozy pajamas, made into decorative wreaths or used as gift tags. However, they should not be gifted to children.

“It’s that time of year when we want to remind our players that instant tickets are not appropriate gifts for anyone under 18 years old — and also that it is illegal to give an instant ticket to a minor,” Mays added. 

While giving an instant ticket to a child may seem harmless, early gambling experiences in minors can be a risk factor for gambling problems in adulthood. The Illinois Lottery supports the National Council on Problem Gambling’s Holiday Lottery Responsible Gambling Campaign in order to help mitigate the risk of underage play. 

The Illinois Lottery reminds players to Be Smart, Play Smart® and to gift smart when purchasing instant tickets during the holiday season. Throughout the year, players are encouraged to play for fun, not funds, and to set a budget and stick to it. For more information on how to gift and game responsibly, please go to the Illinois Lottery website and visit the Responsible Gaming page.


About the Illinois Lottery:

Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery has contributed over $21 billion (since 1985) 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 homelessness prevention, Illinois Veterans services, the fight against breast cancer, MS research, Special Olympics, police memorials and assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS. In addition to playing in-store, the Illinois Lottery offers online and mobile play for all draw-based Illinois Lottery games at Players must be at least 18 years old.