Illinois Lottery Games: Some Interesting Facts
Residents of the nation’s 5th largest state, no matter if they live in Waukegan or Cairo, have a total of six different Illinois lottery games they can play for a chance to hold their own cardboard check. And, believe it or not, many of the state’s residents are older than the Illinois lottery! The inception of the Illinois lottery occurred circa 1974 with Ralph Batch being its first superintendent. It took 29 days to organize the lottery and circulate the first set of tickets which, of course, became an instant success. And roughly 80 days later, Irene Halley became the state’s first million dollar prize winner. Nearly thirty eight years later, the Illinois lottery is still running strong and offers larger winnings, more games to play and even more excitement than Chicago’s Navy Pier. Here are some facts about each game of the Illinois lottery system that are both fun, factual and will help you to choose the right game:
Pick Three Game | Illinois Lottery
In this game, players get to choose three numbers – often times a birthday or even a house number – and can put $.50 or $1.00 per game, with the latter doubling their chances at winning. In total, there are nine available ways to win in this game: straight, a three-way or six-way box, front pair, back pair, three-way or six-way combo, and three-way or six-way straight/box. In the three or six way plays, you need to put a dollar for each way you are playing (minimum of $3.00), yet the chances increase. The most popular means of playing is straight.
Mega Millions Game
The bread and butter game of the Illinois lottery is the Mega Millions drawing which pays out in nine places. Obviously, the pot doesn’t sweeten until you get up to third prize as it pays up to $40,000 with the specific amount dependent on the multiplier played. You can play a single ticket or up to a four times multiplier (making a single ticket $5.00 with multiplier). The jackpot is paid to the winner who gets all five white balls and the gold ball correctly matched with the payout being pari-mutuel (based on number of participants). Second prize, however, is pretty sweet as well because only the 5 white balls need matched and, at five time multiplier, pays a million.
The grandfather of Illinois lottery games is the simplest, cheapest and perhaps overall most lucrative game still on the market with great odds. Since all six balls need to be matched in any order, many people feel comfortable about taking their chances in this game. The investment is great as you’ll get two games for a buck, and it pays really well considering most people play this Illinois lottery game. If you are an entry-level player in the state, start with this game until you can get the hang of choosing numbers.
Power Ball Game
The perpetual brother of the Mega Millions game, Power Ball offers a massive jackpot and several extra ways to win. Although people are drawn to this game for the larger payouts and perhaps better chances to win, it’s the increase in odds of winning that keeps this game hot. Since each game is $2.00 and your winnings can begin simply by matching the Power Ball, players can take solace in recuperating their losses easier than other games. Most of the time, jackpots remain in the upper $10 million dollar area, making it simply more appealing for Illinois lottery players.
Little Lotto Game
The ‘little’ game of the Illinois lottery system offers a big punch for those wanting to play less and have increased odds of winning. Offering payouts starting at $100,000 with only a dollar investment, this five-number matching game offers lottery players both young and old the opportunity to come away with some green as the odds are favorable you could win several hundred or the whole shebang.
Pick Four Game | Illinois Lottery
If you liked what you read about Pick Three, you’ll really love the winning opportunities with the Pick Four game from the Illinois lottery. With 13 chances to win and an initial investment beginning at $.50 or $1.00, players love this daily game because you can play the four numbers in a combo, box, straight or straight / box fashion with 6,12,up to 24 ways to match the four numbers. The single odds are low, you can cash in faster, and with an office pool going, you can have ridiculously easy odds of winning the $5,000 jackpot. Not a bad payout for such a small investment!
The Illinois lottery is still relative new to many people yet offers some exciting games to take a chance on winning without having the messy financial disasters of going to casinos. As with all Illinois lottery games, play responsibly, have fun, and watch the numbers for a few days before jumping in on the action as sometimes you can know what to pick and when to pick it.