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Specialty lottery scratch-offs consolidated under new Hunter law

Photo caption: Senator Mattie Hunter

A new law championed by State Senator Mattie Hunter establishes a Joint Special Instant Scratch-Off Game, which will help equitably distribute proceeds from specialty Illinois lottery scratch-off tickets.

“With a single ticket, we are making it easier for Illinois residents to support causes that make a meaningful impact in our communities,” said Hunter (D-Chicago). “This change will help the Illinois Lottery streamline their operations, as well as give each cause an equal portion of the funds.”

The new Joint Special Instant Scratch-Off Game will combine specialty causes into one ticket — limited to 10 causes at any given time — and split the proceeds equally among the causes. Illinois currently has eight separate specialty cause scratch-off games benefiting breast cancer research, veterans assistance, multiple sclerosis research, HIV/AIDS prevention, Special Olympics, police memorials, homelessness prevention programs, and Alzheimer’s care. Under the current structure, the Illinois Lottery faces several challenges, including disproportionate proceeds from various specialty games.

As part of this law, two new specialty causes will be added, each dedicated to funding scholarships — the United Negro College Fund Illinois scratch-off to support to students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Illinois, and the Illinois DREAM scratch-off to provide financial assistance to noncitizens who are pursuing higher education in the state. An Illinois Lottery Special Instant Scratch-Off Task Force will study future causes and make recommendations related to games and revenue.

“By supporting UNCF and DREAM through the purchase of this ticket, we are empowering students and opening doors to higher education for those who may face unique challenges,” Hunter said. “I look forward to the recommendations of the lottery task force on how we can best identify and support important causes in the future.”

Senate Bill 1508 was signed into law Friday and is effective immediately.

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