Revamped Illinois Lotto Game Delivers Back-To-Back Multimillion Dollar Wins 

Written By Derek Helling on April 15, 2021 - Last Updated on April 14, 2021

It’s only been a couple of weeks since the Illinois Lottery revamped its most popular exclusive draw-style game, but what an exciting time it’s been. The improved odds and more frequent drawings have already led to two multimillion dollar prizes.

Last week, two lucky Illinoisans won nearly $11 million playing the Illinois Lotto game.

The recent changes to the game already have paid off for the winners and sellers of the tickets.

Illinois Lotto produces two huge prizes

Saturday, April 3, started off the stellar week.

That was when a ticket sold at the Piggly Wiggly on Orchard Street in Antioch matched all six numbers, claiming the progressive jackpot.

At the time, the value was $8.9 million.

Two days later, a ticket bought at the Lucky Mini Mart on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago matched all six numbers again.

As the jackpot reset, that win was worth $2 million.

The proximity of the wins is quite remarkable, given the long odds. Even with the reduced pool of numbers, the odds of matching all six numbers are still 1 in 15,890,700.

Illinois Lottery recently reduced the pool size from 52 to 50. They also introduced two new drawings, each with million-dollar prizes. For the better odds and extra drawings, the price of the tickets doubled to $2.

So far, neither winner has come forward to claim either prize. However, the winners have a full calendar year to do so.

The delay might actually be a good sign, too. It could signal that the winners are doing their due diligence, hiring financial professionals to protect their interests in claiming the prize.

For the business owners who sold the tickets, however, there’s no anonymity. The wins aren’t as big for them but the commissions will make a difference.

What’s good for the goose …

When businesses sell jackpot lotto tickets in Illinois, they get a 1% of the jackpot value bonus.

For the Piggly Wiggly in Antioch, that meant $89,000. The store owners, Dave and Debra Karczewski, shared their plans for the money, including funding a renovation of the store.

The $20,000 for the Lucky Mini Mart can’t hurt, either. However, there are many other causes in the Land of Lincoln that benefit from lottery sales. Since 1985, IL lottery revenue sharing has produced over $21 billion for education in the state.

These big wins coming in such proximity to each other, it might make it seem like winning a seven-figure prize is easy. It’s true that it’s now easier with the smaller pool of numbers and more frequent drawings. However, that’s a relative term.

When wins like this do come, though, it can be a big deal for everyone.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Chicago. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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