Claude Footage Statement
A statement from the Illinois Lottery:
Thanks for interest in Claude’s well-being! As the star of the show, Claude’s welfare is paramount and many precautions were taken to ensure the health and safety of our furry friend.
Safe props. All contents within Claude’s enclosure were approved hamster-friendly items (such as fake mistletoe) and Claude was not allowed to chew on anything that could hurt him. His trainer, Bill, stood nearby throughout the shoot to assist if needed.
Hamster wheel. Claude’s wheel was made for hamster use and approved by Movie Animals Protected. Claude was able to move freely throughout his enclosure with many breaks between takes and only used the wheel for short bursts of time on his own accord. Like everything else in Claude’s real home (an enclosure two-stories tall!), his everyday wheel is very spacious.
Enclosure. Claude had a clear enclosure with an open lid to allow for ventilation and filming. Production occurred at night to account for Claude’s preferred sleep schedule and nocturnal behavior. While not on set, Claude was in and out of his cage with plenty of stimulation.
Claude’s real home. While Claude enjoyed the stimulation and excitement of his new toys and environment on set, his permanent home is a spacious two-story enclosure with lots of room to play. His favorite toys are little wood blocks that keep his chompers in tip-top shape.
Throughout the production of WatchClaude.com footage, the Illinois Lottery operated with the highest standards of animal welfare and humane filming practices as deemed by Movie Animals Protected (MAP), who along with Claude’s trainer Bill, were onset the whole time.
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 illinoislottery.com. Players must be at least 18 years old.