CHICAGO - November 7, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today kicked off a statewide launch of the newest Veterans Cash instant lottery ticket at The Chicago Lighthouse for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired, a nonprofit organization located in Chicago’s Illinois Medical District that provides educational services, occupational therapy and employment counseling to low vision or visually impaired Veterans.
“Our service men and women in Illinois put their lives on the line for us, and as we come together as a nation and honor our military heroes for Veterans Day, we encourage the public to support our Veterans by buying a Veterans Cash ticket,” Governor Quinn said. “It’s a win-win for both the game’s players and for the veterans who use programs and services like those here at the Chicago Lighthouse and other organizations who receive Veterans Cash support.”
Since Governor Quinn first championed and launched the program in 2006, Veterans Cash has awarded more than $10 million in grants to veterans’ organizations statewide. The Illinois Lottery’s Veterans Cash game is the first lottery game in the United States to earmark 100 percent of net proceeds to Illinois veterans. Proceeds from Veterans Cash have resulted in cash awards to more than 190 organizations supporting veterans throughout the state.
”In 2012 alone, The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) has awarded nearly $1.3 million in grants to veterans organizations providing crucial services to veterans and their families,” said IDVA Director Erica Borggren. “Veterans Cash is an easy and fun way for players to give back to Illinois men and women who risked their lives to serve our country.”
Chicago Lighthouse client and World War II veteran John Kappel, an Oak Lawn resident who served with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Europe from 1943-45, has benefitted from a Veterans Cash grants awarded to the Lighthouse over the past three years. Kappel, 89, who lives with glaucoma and macular degeneration, has been able to enjoy a measure of independence thanks to items he received as part of the comprehensive vision care he received at the Lighthouse.
“I can’t say enough good things about my Lighthouse experience,” Kappel said. “For example, the large magnifying glass I received from the Lighthouse’s Tools for Living Store has really assisted me in reading labels, mail and other things. The care I got at the Lighthouse’s vision clinic was top notch and everyone treated me respectfully.”
Proceeds from the sale of Veterans Cash are deposited in an interest-bearing account in the State Treasury called the Illinois Veterans Assistance Fund. The General Assembly appropriates this money solely to the IDVA, which provides grants that fund services and research relating to veterans' Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), homelessness, medical expenses, long term care and disability benefits.
“Everybody I talk to in Illinois loves the idea of Veterans Cash. What better way is there to try your first lottery game: you can win up to $20,000 instantly, or, if luck isn’t with you, contribute to veterans’ causes throughout our state. The lottery is so proud of the game the Governor and the legislature tasked us to market. Let’s make this year’s game the most successful ever,” said Lottery Superintendent Michael Jones.
The new Veterans Cash game is available at Illinois Lottery retail locations throughout the state. Each ticket costs $2 and the game features top prizes of $20,000. The Lottery anticipates raising $900,000 for Illinois Veterans from the new game. The instant ticket measures 4” by 7.5” and is the largest $2 game ever offered by the Lottery. The ticket face was designed by Common Ground, the Lottery’s award-winning, cross-cultural advertising/marketing agency that designs the Lottery’s “special-cause” instant games, including Veterans Cash.
For more information on Veteran’s Cash please visit IllinoisLottery.com. To apply for a grant, please download an application at the Veterans Cash website. For more information about IDVA and its programs, please visit the agency’s homepage. To find out how you can help Illinois Veterans, visit www.OperationHomeFront.org.
About the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs
The mission of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) is to empower veterans and their families to thrive. We do this by assisting them in navigating the system of federal state and local resources and benefits; by providing long-term health care for eligible veterans in our Veterans’ Homes; and by partnering with other agencies and non-profits to help veterans address education, mental health, housing, employment, and other challenges.
About the Illinois Lottery
Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery has contributed $17.5 billion to the state Common School Fund to assist K-12 public schools and the Capital Projects Fund. Players must be at least 18 years old. For more information on the Illinois Lottery please visit IllinoisLottery.com.