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Illinois Lottery Gives the Gift of Possibility to Teachers For Making This Year Possible

December 10, 2020

CHICAGO—With the challenges of remote work and e-learning in 2020, families are particularly aware of how essential teachers are in making learning possible this year. The Illinois Lottery is sharing its appreciation for teachers and celebrating their efforts by gifting wreaths adorned with holiday instant tickets to Rockford educators. 

“We wanted to brighten this holiday season for some of our hardworking teachers,” said Harold Mays Acting Director of the Illinois Lottery. “The Illinois Lottery supports schools with funding through the Common School Fund, and we wanted to express gratitude to teachers who have worked tirelessly to continue providing opportunities and education for our children in a particularly challenging year.”

The holiday wreaths and instant tickets were given as part of the Rockford holiday season kickoff, Stroll on State. 

“This year, we partnered with the Illinois Lottery to recognize and thank local educators with a wreath giveaway decorated in Illinois Lottery tickets,” said John Groh, President/CEO of the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (RACVB). “Those who received the wreaths were appreciative of this creative way to receive recognition for their continued commitment to educating our children during the pandemic.”

Christina Barte, a Rockford middle school teacher, was one of the excited educators who received a holiday wreath decorated with instant tickets. “I enjoy my students,” she said. “I learn so much from them and love interacting with them! They are what make all of this worth it.”

Rockford middle school teacher Christina Barte holds her holiday wreath decorated with instant tickets, courtesy of the Illinois Lottery. The Illinois Lottery is thanking teachers for helping to make this year possible.


“Learning is more than being book smart. Learning is about expressing yourself in the world and developing the ability to be a positive member of the community,” added Rockford middle school teacher Maitreyi Lagunas. “When I see children valuing themselves, their classmates, and their future by engaging in learning, I feel I am making a difference.” 

The Rockford Stroll on State event is intended to promote civility through welcoming all, supporting local businesses, and bringing in the holidays through decoration and special experiences. 

Be Smart, Play Smart® This Holiday Season

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, we encourage players 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 and visit our 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 Illinois Veterans services, the fight against breast cancer and Alzheimer’s, 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.

About RACVB: 

RACVB is responsible for promoting the Rockford region as an attractive travel destination and enhancing its public image as a dynamic place to live and work. Through the impact of travel, RACVB strengthens the economic position of the region and provides opportunities for people in our communities.

High school counselor Megan Nilson
Elementary school teacher Tiffany Russey
Middle school teacher Scott Dimke