Win, win, as the Illinois Lottery turns 50, all players are in

As the Illinois Lottery turns 50, the state reports historic earnings of $883 million and promises much more in store.

Win, win, as the Illinois Lottery turns 50, all players are in

On the heels of releasing its annual report showcasing historic revenue earnings of more than $882 million, with $0.25 of each dollar earmarked for public education and other charitable causes, the Illinois Lottery has plans to kick off its 50th anniversary year in high gear.

Illinois Lottery: More than just a game

The Director of the Illinois Lottery, Harold Mays, commended his team’s accomplishments to date while explaining the Illinois Lottery’s overall position and role as a community engine, “In Illinois, the Lottery is more than just a game.”

Referencing the fact that the principal purpose of the Illinois Lottery is to ‘generate revenue that supplements education funding and supports good causes throughout the State,’ Mays called the lottery’s success a ‘Win-Win,’ as everyone from players and retailers to schools and students has in some way were beneficiaries of the lottery’s good fortunes.

Illinois Lottery 50th celebration gets underway

As Mays praised the lottery’s past achievements, preparations were underway to launch a series of year-long promotions and introduce new games in honor of their golden 50th year.

In an effort to commemorate the significance and pageantry of the upcoming celebratory milestone occasion, the Illinois Lottery premiered the state’s first-ever $50 scratch-off ticket at the end of December 2023.

The $50 scratch ticket features a black and gold art deco style and three $10 million and 15 $1 million dollar prize giveaways. With the odds of winning listed as 4:18 and monetary prizes starting at $100, the Illinois Lottery informs players that the ticket gave them the best odds of winning $500 on any scratch-off ticket in Illinois.

To start off the New Year 2024 and continue with its 50th-anniversary celebratory affair, in partnership with the game maker Hasbro, the Illinois Lottery will release a series of five MONOPOLY game scratch-off tickets in the following denominations: $1, $2, $5, $10 and $20.

To complement the series, the Illinois Lottery will offer a free $1 MONOPOLY ticket with the purchase of every $20 MONOPOLY scratcher and a chance for players of non-winning $2 & $5 Illinois Lottery MONOPOLY Instant Tickets to win a trip to Las Vegas.

Historic revenue windfalls

While scratch-offs play a sizable role, the marked increase of 5.7% over the preceding year in Illinois lottery sales is said to primarily be attributed to the historic number of jackpots in the multi-state games, e.g., Mega Millions and Powerball, both of which surpassed the $1 billion mark in 2023.

These sizable gains resulted in bringing about revenue increases of approximately 53%, or the equivalent of $70 million. In comparison with the previous year, the growth was said to represent 8% of the Illinois Lottery’s net income for the year ending 2022-2023.

Illinois Lottery partnerships

As stated in the agency’s official press releases, within the coming year 2024-2025, the Illinois Lottery plans to lean more heavily upon its newly appointed operating partner, Allwyn, and its advertising agency of record, Dentsu Creative, to further build upon its market base and expand its online footprint.

With plans for more special products, both online and physical, the partnering agencies issued the following joint statement, “There is fun to be had across retail, digital and omniplay offerings. The game’s changing. For the Lottery to show up and stand out in new ways, it demands creative and media disciplines lock arms with the brand.”

By implementing a solid gold foundation and teaming with a strong cohort of creative partners, the Illinois State Lottery appears to have everything in store that is needed to go another 50 years or more.


In 2024, Illinois will join four other states in celebrating their 50th anniversaries: Delaware, Maine, Ohio, and Rhode Island. A total of 15, the list of lotteries with 50 or 50 plus years also includes the following ten states/territories: Connecticut (1972), Maryland (1973), Massachusetts (1971), Michigan (1972 ), New Hampshire (1964), New Jersey (1969), New York (1967), Pennsylvania (1972), *Puerto Rico (1934), and the U.S. Virgin Islands (1937).

*Oldest lottery in U.S.

Background: Illinois Lottery

Since its founding in 1974, the Illinois Lottery has contributed more than $25 billion to the State’s Common Fund, the primary source of state funding for K-12 grade schooling and, as the primary benefactor of the Illinois Lottery’s goodwill funds, the recipient of nearly 99% of its incoming revenue.

Emphasizing responsible and sustainable growth in its future-looking plan of operations, the Illinois Lottery is keen-eyed on creating more sizable revenue streams for public education and such additional good causes as Special Olympics, Alzheimer’s Research, Breast Cancer Awareness and Treatment, and Multiple Sclerosis, et al.


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