NORMAL – Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation that creates a "Go for the Gold" Lottery ticket to benefit Special Olympics Illinois.
Proceeds from this new scratch-off game will provide funding for increased opportunities for Special Olympics athletes across the state.
“Special Olympics Illinois is a treasure to our state and to the many Illinois residents who benefit from their spirit of giving,” Quinn said. “We are so proud of our athletes and their determination both on and off the playing field. With this new Lottery ticket, we can help Special Olympics Illinois ensure more of our competitors are able to ‘Go for the Gold.’”
“We are incredibly grateful for this new initiative that will allow Special Olympics Illinois to continue transforming the lives of both current and future generations of Special Olympics Athletes,” Special Olympics Illinois President and CEO Dave Breen said. “Funds raised from this game will lead to further innovation and program growth, and expand opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, their families and volunteers throughout Illinois.”
Senate Bill 219 creates the new $2 "Go for the Gold" scratch-off instant ticket. The ticket will be available early next year at 8,200 retailers across Illinois and is expected to raise nearly $700,000 in its first year for Special Olympics athletes and events across Illinois. The revenue will be used to support athlete training, competitions and programs for present and future Special Olympic athletes. It cannot be used for institutional, organization, or community-based overhead, indirect costs or levies. The new law takes effect immediately.
“Go for the Gold” joins the ranks of other Lottery specialty games that raise money for specific causes like Illinois Veterans, the fight against breast cancer, MS research and assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS. “Go for the Gold” tickets have potential prizes of up $20,000, and overall odds of winning a prize will be about 1 in 4.65 tickets.
Special Olympics Illinois provides opportunities for more than 21,000 athletes, 40,000 volunteers and thousands more people statewide through 18 Area programs in all 102 counties of the state. Special Olympics began in Illinois with the first games at Chicago’s Soldier Field in July 1968. There are now more than 4 million Special Olympic athletes in 170 countries.
The Special Olympics mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.