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Holiday Fun Instant Brings Belmont-Cragin Player $250,000 Prize

November 25, 2020

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

CHICAGO—One Illinois Lottery player will be kicking off the holiday season with a quarter million dollar prize in his pocket after winning $250,000 on the Holiday Fun instant ticket.

The lucky player from the Belmont Cragin neighborhood in Chicago, who wishes to remain anonymous, shares that it was a middle of the night moment when this dream came true.

“I was at home and in my bedroom and I couldn’t sleep,” he says.  Instead of tossing and turning, the player distracted himself by deciding to scratch the ticket he had purchased earlier in the day.  

As he scratched his ticket, he couldn’t believe what he was seeing before his eyes.  “I was just so shocked,” he says.  

The winner couldn’t wait for sunrise to share the exciting news and woke up his girlfriend of four years, who was asleep as his side.

“I woke her up and she looked at the ticket but it didn’t register at first,” he says.  “When she realized it she said ‘We won!’ and was really happy,” he laughs.

The darling duo are already planning how they’ll spend their prize, “We are going to invest in a home!” exclaims the winner.    

The winning ticket was sold at Jimenez Fresh Market at 5530 W. Belmont Ave. in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood of Chicago.

The winner has been playing the Illinois Lottery for the past 10 years and says that instant tickets top his list of favorite games to play.  “I’ll stop and buy a ticket wherever, when the feeling hits me, probably a couple times a month,” he says.  

The winner plans to continue enjoying the Illinois Lottery and suggests other players look beyond playing just their go-to games when purchasing Illinois Lottery tickets.  “Step out and try new tickets because you never know what could happen.”


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.