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The Illinois Lottery

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The official motto of the Illinois Lottery is “Have A Ball”. This is more than apt, considering all of the different number game style lotteries offered by this state.

The Illinois Lottery is also prolific. It awarded $104 million to prize winners in 2005. That same year, Illinois topped off its educational system’s finances with $619 million in school aid funding. The lottery is so successful in Illinois that it is the fourth largest generator of revenue in the entire state. On average it creates about 18 millionaires a year.

Mega Millions and the Illinois Lottery

Illinois Lottery GamesIllinois offers several large lottery games, including Mega Millions and Lotto. Mega Million is not really a part of the Illinois Lottery but it offers the biggest jackpots in Illinois. Mega Millions is run by a multi-state organization that consists of 29 other states.

The proceeds from Mega Millions are distributed among participating states to fund education. The reason that the lottery is called Mega Millions is that jackpots start low and then roll over into millions and millions of dollars each week that a winning ticket is not held.

To play MEGA Millions the player must pick 5 numbers from a list of numbers that are listed 1 through 56, and a final number, called a MEGA number from a list of numbers that are 1 through 46. The ticket is divided into two panels. These panels each contain lists of numbers, marked so that it is easy to distinguish the 5 number standard list from the Mega list of numbers.

Mega Millions costs $1 per play. You may pick 2-8, 16, or even 20 extra plays and play them all for one drawing. The lottery is drawn every Tuesday and Friday at 10 pm.

The Illinois Lotto

The Illinois Lotto boasts a one dollar ticket that buys you two games. The jackpots start at 2 million, which is a little lower than the Mega Millions but still a hefty attractive sum. This 2 million jackpot is rolled over if it is not won, thus steadily increasing the jackpot over a number of weeks. To win the jackpot in this simple lottery game all you have to do is pick 6 numbers from 1 to 52.

The Illinois Lotto is played Monday, Wednesday or Saturday. The 9:22 p.m. draw, broadcast live on WGN-TV. Winning numbers are also published in most local newspapers.

The Little Lotto

The state also offers a miniature version of the Illinois Lotto called the Little Lotto. The jackpots are lower and start at $100,000. These also roll over and grow the jackpot if a winning ticket is not claimed, just like in the big Illinois Lotto.

In the Little Lotto, you must pick 5 unique numbers from 1 to 39. This unique lotto is played daily from Monday to Sunday with the drawings taking place on the WGN-TV at 9:22 pm. The results are broadcast and printed in most local media outlets.

Pick 3 and Pick 4

Other offerings from the Illinois Lottery are the two smaller daily lotteries – the Pick 3 and Pick 4. These fifty-cent games are drawn two times a day, six times a week with one drawing on Sunday. The maximum fixed prize for Pick 3 is $500. It is $5000 for Pick 4. With both games, it is possible to play a boxed, straight or combination (box and straight) play.

Scratch and Win Options

The Illinois Lottery also offers eight different Scratch and Win Games in numerous themes and styles. The Two Scoop Doubler is the cheapest scratch-and-win. It costs a dollar, and requires you to find three matching amounts to win that amount. The maximum prize to be found on these cards is $1000. Similar game styles that are offered are called 7-11-21, Time For Change, The Money Game and Rooster Riches.

The Illinois Lottery also offers a wide selection of $2 games, including a Win For Life Game that provides an additional $50,000 a year for life paid in an annuity and Aces High, a game that has a jackpot of $15,000. It is played like a poker game.

The state’s $3 games are familiar yet innovative, and feature games based on such popular themes as the board game of Battleship. This is a Set For Life style of game that pays out $40,000 a year for life.

There is also a ten-dollar game called Casino Action that features several favorite casino themes on one card including games called Hot Slots, Blackjack and a dice game called 7-11. For the same price, you can also play the Instant Win Decades of Dollars, which boasts a prize of $100,000 a year for twenty years.

The state’s most expensive Scratch n’ Win type game is called Blast for Life. This twenty-dollar ticket rewards the player with $72,000 a year income for life. Of course, like most cash for life type lotteries, this annuity can be traded in for a lump sum that is roughly half it’s size and based on a twenty-year lifespan.

You can find more information available about the game available in the Illinois lottery on their homepage. You can get updated Illinois lottery results at too.

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