The Illinois Lottery made another resident a millionaire on Jan. 29, the third in the previous two weeks.
The player purchased the winning Lotto Million 1 ticket from Stop 24 Liquors, located in suburban Bolingbrook.
Lotto Million 1 and 2
The Lotto Million 1 is a new wrinkle on the preexisting Lotto drawings.
Illinois residents have three chances to win with a $2 ticket instead of one chance to hit the jackpot with a $1 ticket.
The first drawing is the standard lotto drawing, where a winning ticket matching all six numbers wins the progressive jackpot.
The other two drawings, Lotto Million 1 and Lotto Million 2, occur immediately after the standard drawing. Players use the same ticket for all three.
Recent winning streak
The Illinois Lottery launched the Lotto Million 1 and 2 drawings in April 2021. So far in 2022, Illinois residents are on a million-dollar winning streak.
Before the most recent winning ticket sold in Bolingbrook, two lottery winners hit within five days in the Chicago area.
A ticket sold at the King Supermarket on E. 41st St. hit on a Monday Lotto Million 2 drawing. Later that January week, another ticket sold at Johnson’s Lighthouse Pointe and Car Wash in Villa Park hit the $1 million jackpot.
The manager of Johnson’s Lighthouse Pointe and Car Wash told the Illinois Lottery he doesn’t know who won the ticket but hopes it’s someone from their hometown.
Who benefits from the Illinois Lottery?
Money from Illinois Lottery ticket sales goes toward the Common School Fund. While they remain the primary recipient of lottery sales in Illinois, sales also contribute to other projects.
Some specialty instant games direct funds to Illinois Veterans and HIV research. Sales within the state also contribute to infrastructure projects.
A record year
Illinois Lottery sales hit a peak in 2021. Residents bought $2.2 billion worth of scratch-off tickets. They also bought $1.2 billion in draw-based games like the Lotto Million 1 and 2.
This record sales amount meant that the Common School Fund received $762 million for 2021.
Schools aren’t the only beneficiary of these record lottery sales. In 2021, residents won $2.3 billion in prizes.
That prize total included the most significant single jackpot winner in Illinois since 2017, a $56 million prize won by a Crestwood resident.
Retailers selling winning tickets win big
Retailers who sell a winning ticket also receive a bonus.
In the case of Stop 24 Liquors, owners Dashank and Mixa Desai received a $10,000 bonus, 1% of the total winnings. So did the owners of King’s Supermarket and Johnson’s Lighthouse Pointe and Car Wash.
These retailer bonuses act as an incentive for selling Illinois Lottery tickets. According to Joel Johnson, manager of Johnson’s, the bonus money is a welcome relief.
“The selling bonus couldn’t have come at a better time. We’re going to use the majority of the money to pay bills impacted by the COVID pandemic.”