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Illinois Lottery Celebrates Mega Millions Near $1 Billion Jackpot With A Ticket Grab Challenge Event In Chicago

March 20th, 2024

1,000 Mega Millions Tickets to be Scooped Up by Players on Thursday

CHICAGO, March 20, 2024 – Mega Millions Mania is heating up once again in Illinois as the jackpot approaches $1 billion for Friday night’s drawing.  

If someone wins the $977 million top prize on March 22, it would be the sixth largest Mega Millions Jackpot and the 10th largest lottery jackpot won in U.S. history.

In celebration of the massive jackpot, the Illinois Lottery is hosting a ‘Mega Millions Ticket Grab Challenge’ tomorrow to give players a chance to win free Mega Millions tickets ahead of the drawing on Friday night.

The Illinois Lottery is setting up its ‘Ticket Grab Machine’ filled with Mega Millions tickets to be snatched up by excited players. Once inside the machine, players will have a few seconds to grab as many Mega Millions tickets as they can.  

The Mega Millions Ticket Grab Challenge will take place at Mayfair Marathon, 4721 N. Elston Ave. in Chicago, from 11am – 1pm on Thursday, March 21.

For those who can’t make it to Mayfair Marathon on Thursday, you can still take part in the Mega Millions draw by grabbing a ticket from any of the 7,000 retail locations across the state.

In Illinois, every lottery ticket bought supports our local communities. For Mega Millions, approximately 40 cents of every dollar spent goes to support K-12 education and other good causes. Since 1985, the Illinois Lottery has contributed more than $24 billion in revenue to educational funding in Illinois.

Mega Millions tickets are $2 each, and players have the option to add the Megaplier for an additional $1 for the chance to multiply non-jackpot prizes.

In support of Problem Gambling Awareness Month, the Illinois Lottery is promoting responsible play by encouraging Lottery players to: “Set A Limit. Stick To It.” If gambling has become a problem for you or someone you know, help and hope are here: call 1-800-GAMBLER.


  • All participants in the Powerball Ticket Grab Challenge must be 18 years of age or older
  • An Illinois Lottery spokesperson will be available on-site
  • The event will continue while supplies and quantities last

About the Illinois Lottery

The Illinois Lottery, founded in 1974, has contributed over $24 billion to the State’s Common School Fund in support of K-12 public education in Illinois since 1985. The Common School Fund is the Illinois Lottery’s primary benefactor, receiving nearly 99% of Illinois Lottery proceeds. The Illinois Lottery also supports various specialty causes as described in the Illinois Lottery Law (20 ILCS 1605/21.4). For more information about the Illinois Lottery and the causes we support, please visit