The Crusader Newspaper Group


Did You Know It’s Illegal to Gift Instant Tickets to Minors?

The holidays are here, and holiday instant tickets from the Illinois Lottery are a fun and easy way to check off everyone on your list. Everyone except for minors, that is.

“At the Illinois Lottery, we encourage responsible holiday gift-giving,” said Harold Mays, acting director of the Illinois Lottery. “What players may not realize is that it’s illegal to give an instant ticket to anyone under the age of 18 in Illinois.”

During the holidays, instant tickets can be given in a variety of ways to surprise and delight your loved ones, such as hiding them in a cookie tin, a new pair of comfy holiday pajamas or cozy slippers, or including them as an add-on to a hostess gift, such as candy or flowers. Keep in mind that instant tickets are not gifts for the children on your list.

The Illinois Lottery supports the National Council on Problem Gambling’s Holiday Lottery Responsible Gambling Campaign because early gambling experiences are a risk factor for gambling problems later in life. Many young people even report that their first gambling experiences occur around 9 to 11 years of age.

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 homelessness prevention, Illinois Veterans services, the fight against breast cancer, MS research, Special Olympics, police memorial funds 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.

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