illinois lotto

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WEDNESDAY | 8 MARCH 2020

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How to play the Illinois Lotto
Playing the Illinois Lotto and picking possible winning numbers are easy and straight-forward. Simply buy a ticket from a Local Retailer to stand a chance to win big cash prizes.
Can you play online? Yes!

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Easily check today’s Illinois Lotto winning numbers, handy and useful tips.

What is the Illinois Lotto?

The Illinois Lotto starts with a top prize of US$2 million and can roll over indefinitely, leading to huge jackpots. The largest Illinois Lotto jackpot ever won was in a staggering amount of US$69.9 million and was awarded on the 15th of April 1989.

Illinois Lotto draws currently take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 21.22 CST.

How to play the Illinois Lotto?

Players pay US$1 for a base game and pick six numbers from 1 to 52 or have them randomly selected on their behalf by using the Quick Pick option. For an extra US$1 players can unlock the Extra Shot feature, an extra randomly-generated number that could dramatically increase the value of any non-jackpot prizes that a player may win.

To win the jackpot, ticket holders must match all six main numbers drawn.

But – It doesn’t stop there! The Illinois Lotto offers both in-house and instant games.

Current in-house games

Pick 3

Pick 3 draws three sets of balls numbered 0 through 9. Prices, options, and payouts vary.

Pick 4

The game draws four sets of ten balls numbered 0 through 9. Prices, options and payouts vary.

Fireball

Is an optional feature to Pick 3 and Pick 4, to provide a chance to obtain more winning number combinations. The option can be added for a cost equivalent to the player's original base wager (for example, if a Pick 3 wager is 50¢, it costs an additional 50¢ to add the "Fireball" option.

Lucky Day Lotto

In the current version of Lucky Day Lotto, a player pays $1 and picks 5 numbers from a field of 45 (or by "quick pick").

Players matching all 5 numbers split a pari-mutuel jackpot that starts at $100,000

Players matching 4 of 5 numbers win $200

Players matching 3 of 5 numbers win $15

Players matching 2 of 5 numbers win $1

Lucky Day Lotto drawings take place twice a day, seven days a week.
Instant games
Multiple scratch games in varying amounts and themes are on offer, including games based on licensed properties such as the NBC game show Deal or No Deal. Chicago and St. Louis area sports teams also have tie-ins with the Lottery.

Current multi-state games

Mega Millions

Players choose 5 of 75 white balls, and a sixth number (the “Mega Ball”) from a second pool, of 15 numbers.

Mega Millions tickets are currently sold in 44 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Illinois Lotto Prizes

There are 11 different Illinois Lotto prize tiers if players play with Extra Shot. Cash will be paid out to ticket holders who match just the Extra Shot number up to matching all six main numbers.

The Illinois Lotto jackpot starts at US$2 million and grows by US$250,000 each time it rolls over, and there’s no limit on how high it can climb!

Here’s a quick breakdown of the prize tiers, estimated cash amounts and odds of winning:
Prize TierOdds of WinningBase Prize
Match 6
1 in 20,358,520
Jackpot
Match 5 + Extra Shot
1 in 1,844,069
Pari-mutuel prize of approx. US$50,000
Match 5
1 in 73,763
Pari-mutuel prize of approx. US$2,000
Match 4 + Extra Shot
1 in 32,783
Pari-mutuel prize of approx. US$1,250
Match 3 + Extra Shot
1 in 1,676
US$125 fixed prize
Match 4
1 in 1,311
Pari-mutuel prize of approx. US$50
Match 2 + Extra Shot
1 in 208
US$25 fixed prize
Match 3
1 in 67
US$5 fixed prize
Match 1 + Extra Shot
1 in 62
US$10 fixed prize
Match 0 + Extra Shot
1 in 54
US$5 fixed prize
Match 2
1 in 8.32
US$1 fixed prize
The Odds of winning any Lotto prize on a basic ticket are 1 in 7.36. The Odds of winning any Lotto prize with added Extra Shot feature are 1 in 5.68.

How to claim your lotto cash prize

How do I claim my winnings in Illinois?
Winnings at a value lower than $600 can be collected at any registered lottery retailer, Lottery Claims Center, or by mailing the ticket to the Lottery’s Springfield HQ (remember to sign the back!).
Does the Illinois Lottery release the winners name?
Yes. The lottery publishes the winner’s names, home city, and the amount they won. Contact details, such as addresses and telephone numbers are never published.
Are Illinois lottery winnings taxed?
Yes. Both state and federal taxes apply on lottery winnings.
Can anyone play the lottery in Illinois?
Players must be 18 years old or older to play the Illinois Lottery. Players need to be a resident of the state and live in Illinois at the time of purchasing their lottery tickets to play online.
Can players buy tickets for draws in advance?
Yes, most Illinois Lottery game tickets can be bought in advance at registered lottery retailers.
Where do the profits from ticket sales go?
All profits made from Illinois Lottery games go toward the state’s public education, capital projects, and a range of special causes.
Can players buy lottery tickets online, over the phone, or by mail?
Players can play online, but cannot purchase tickets by phone or mail.
Which Illinois Lottery games can be played online?
Powerball, Mega Millions, and Lotto games online as well as subscriptions to Lucky Day Lotto (Midday, Evening), Pick 3 (Midday, Evening), and Pick 4 (Midday, Evening).
How long do players have to claim a prize?
One year from the date of the draw.
What happens if a ticket is lost or damaged?
Always sign the back of a lottery ticket! The Illinois Lottery can’t be held responsible for lost or damaged lottery tickets.
History of The Illinois Lotto

The Illinois Lotto had its start in 1983 when it was better known as the Lotto 6/40. The game was drawn on Saturdays and was the first in the country to offer a guaranteed, massive million-dollar prize. The game medium changed throughout the years, but has been set at 6/52 since 1999.

Pick 3 (originally known as The Daily Game) was launched on February 19, 1980. It started out as a single-drawing game that was held on Monday through Saturday evenings. On March 20, 1983, the lottery began to offer Sunday drawings of Pick 3. Ten years later on December 20, 1993, it expanded to 13 draws weekly with the addition of midday drawings.

Pick 4, similar to Pick 3, began on February 16, 1982, with drawings held on Tuesday and Friday evenings. On August 27, 1984, drawings expanded to six nights a week with the addition of Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday draws. Sunday drawings were added on March 9, 1985. Concurrent with the expansion of Pick 3 to daily drawings, on December 20, 1993, pick 4 expanded to 13 draws weekly with the addition of midday games.

On September 6, 1996, six U.S. lotteries, including Illinois', launched The Big Game. Six years later, The Big Game added Mega Millions to its name; the game now is known simply as Mega Millions.

Comparison table for The Illinois Lotto
Top jackpots paid out for The Illinois Lotto between 2014 – 2020

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Conclusion
The Illinois Lotto had its start in 1983 when it was better known as the Lotto 6/40. The game was drawn on Saturdays and was the first in the country to offer a guaranteed, massive million-dollar prize. The game medium changed throughout the years, but has been set at 6/52 since 1999.
Illinois Lotto proceeds currently benefit three major areas:

The state's Common School Fund (CSF), which helps finance K-12 public schools

The Capital Projects Fund, used for infrastructure improvements and job creation

Special causes like Illinois veterans, breast cancer charities and research, assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS, and multiple sclerosis research.

Each of the four special causes is funded by a unique instant scratch-off game authorized by the Illinois General Assembly. The Illinois Lottery has contributed more than $18 billion to charitable causes from its inception through 2013. Illinois Lotto tickets are available from authorized retailers throughout the state and online.