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Retired Chicago Firefighter Celebrates Birthday With Illinois Jackpot Prize

November 13, 2020

CHICAGO—Roger Perez of the Edgebrook neighborhood in Chicago just celebrated his birthday in a big way - cashing in a $1,000 Illinois Jackpot Fast Play prize! 

“It was a good way to start the day with winning,” says Perez, a retired 32-year veteran of the Chicago Fire Department.

“I decided to stop and buy the ticket on a whim because I had heard about this new Fast Play game and it was my first time ever playing,” says Perez.

After purchasing the ticket, he couldn't wait to check the results and decided to scan the ticket right there at the retailer on his Illinois Lottery mobile app.

“A message popped up that said ‘You Won Big!’ and I was elated!” Perez exclaims. “I was still at the gas station where I had purchased the ticket when I realized I had won.” 

The winning ticket was sold just around the corner from the winner’s home, at his go-to Shell gas station, which he refers to as his “Number One Place”, located at 5900 W Touhy Ave. in Niles, Illinois. 

Perez was excited to share the news with the one person who he says had to know- his wonderful wife of 32 years. Perez says he hopes to make more from this win and has decided to invest his prize. “It’s already in the stock market,” he says. 

The winner has been enjoying the Illinois Lottery for the past 30 years, and this prize is one of many for the former firefighter. “I have won various other prize amounts in the past playing instant tickets and I plan to keep playing.”

The winner says that instant tickets top his list of favorite games. He has continued to enjoy playing Fast Play and even cashed in on other prizes since his birthday win. 

“I like the game and so far, it’s been good to me,” says Perez.  “I continue to play Fast Play and I feel like every second time I play, I win a prize somewhere between $15 - $40.” 

On a final note, Perez shares his winning outlook and these words of wisdom with fellow Lottery lovers: “Keep trying.”

More than $691,000 in Fast Play prizes have been won across the state this week by more than 66,000 lucky players.


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.