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October 23, 2008

Blagojevich Administration Unveils New Veteran’s Cash Lottery Ticket, Coin Craze
Over $4.7 Million in Veteran’s Cash Grants Awarded to Help Provide Wide Range of Services for Illinois Veterans

CHICAGO – As the nation prepares to honor our military heroes this coming Veterans Day, Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director, Tammy Duckworth, and Acting Superintendent of the Illinois Lottery, Jodie Winnett, joined dozens of Veteran’s Cash grant recipients at the Pritzker Military Library in Chicago today to launch the newest version of the Veteran’s Cash lottery ticket called Coin Craze.  The Blagojevich Administration is encouraging residents to purchase the new ticket as an easy way to honor the state’s Veterans and to help improve the services provided to them. 


“Our Veterans risked their lives in defense of our freedoms and we owe it to them to make sure that when they return home, their needs are met.  So this Veterans Day, do more than just watch a parade or participate in a ceremony to honor our military heroes – honor their sacrifices by buying the new Veteran’s Cash Lottery ticket, Coin Craze.  Buying this two dollar ticket will expand and improve the services we provide to Veterans throughout the state,” said Governor Blagojevich.


Launched by Governor Blagojevich in February 2006, Veteran’s Cash is the state’s first Illinois Lottery ticket where 100 percent of the net proceeds go to support Illinois Veterans.  Proceeds from the sale of this ticket are deposited into an interest bearing account in the State Treasury called the Illinois Veterans Assistance Fund.  The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) awards the money in grants to non-profit organizations that help provide a wide range of services to Illinois Veterans including health care and insurance, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) treatment, disability benefits, and housing assistance.


“Everyone always wants to know what they can do to help our Veterans,” said IDVA Director Duckworth.  “Well this Lottery ticket is a fun and easy way to help enhance the services that are provided to our Veterans.  I want to encourage everyone to go out and buy Coin Craze, the new Veteran’s Cash Lottery ticket.  Together, we can better the lives of our service members and give them the opportunities they deserve.”


“To date, we’ve released six tickets into the market and raised millions of dollars to support Illinois Veterans,” said Illinois Lottery Acting Superintendent Jodie Winnett.  “We are excited to launch this new ticket and continue to provide grant funding to Veterans across the state.”


Since the beginning of 2007, IDVA has granted more than $4.7 million to organizations supporting Veterans from around the state.  Grants have ranged from $2,500 for clothing, food and transportation to local VA hospitals for sick and homeless Veterans, to $125,000 for the expansion of a homeless shelter.  Veteran’s Cash grant recipients include:


Alexian Brothers Center for Mental Health, Arlington Heights

American Legion Department of Illinois, Bloomington

AMVETS Post 66, Wheeling

AMVETS Post 104, Quincy

AMVETS Post 107, Manteno

AMVETS Post 204, Madison

AMVETS Post 269, Woodstock

Bogan Quarters, Chicago

BraveHearts, Harvard

Catholic Charities, Chicago

Chicago Heights Veterans Center, Chicago Heights

Chicago Veterans Economic Council, Oak Park

Combined Veterans Association of Illinois, Stickney

Disabled American Veterans, Department of Illinois, Springfield

Depression Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) & Vet Net, Chicago

Egyptian Post Commanders Club, Carbondale

Evanston Vet Center, Evanston

Goodwill Industries, Chicago

Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association, Lake Forest

Heart of a Marine Foundation, Elk Grove Village

IDVA Homeless Shelter, Manteno

Illinois National Guard Association, Springfield

Inner Voice, Chicago

Jefferson County AMVETS, Mt. Vernon

Jesus Place Mission, Granite City

John Marshall Law School, Chicago

Korean War Veterans, Danville

Lake County on behalf of Veterans Assistance Commission of Lake County, Waukegan

Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans, Wheaton

Military Order of the Purple Heart, Department of Illinois, Springfield

NASA Education, Crystal Lake

Revelation Golf, Elk Grove

Salute, Inc., Prospect Heights

Salvation Army, Springfield

SIU Disability Support Services, Carbondale

SIU School of Law, Carbondale

Sons of the American Legion, Chicago

Tazewell County Veteran’s Assistance, Tremont

Theodore Roosevelt Post 4, Chicago

Transitional Living Services, Hebron

United Cerebral Palsy Association of Greater Chicago, Inc., Chicago

Veterans Assistance Commission of DuPage County, Wheaton

Veterans Assistance Commission of Jersey County

Veterans Assistance Commission of Kankakee County

Veterans Assistance Commission of Lake County

Veterans Assistance Commission of McHenry County, Woodstock

VFW Department of Illinois, Springfield

VFW Post 4763, Chatham

VFW Post 5915, Carpentersville

VFW Post 8322, Chicago

Vietnam Veterans of America, Illinois State Council, Rock Island

Williamson County DAV Chapter 71, Herrin


Today, dozens of Veteran’s Cash grant recipients from Chicago and the surrounding suburbs joined IDVA and Lottery for the unveiling of the new ticket.  One of those grant recipients was United Cerebral Palsy Association of Greater Chicago, who received $238,000 in Veteran’s Cash grants to complete home modifications for disabled Illinois Veterans.


When the debilitating effects of Parkinson’s disease restricted me to a wheelchair, I began missing doctors appointments because I could not navigate the stairs in the wheelchair.  Thanks to funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs and Ramp Up, I now have a wheelchair lift on the outside stairs and an accessible bathroom door.  Once again I have access to my entire home and to doctors,” said Jack Nimon, United States Army Korean War Veteran helped by United Cerebral Palsy Association of Greater Chicago.


Coin Craze is currently available at Illinois Lottery retail locations throughout the state.  Each ticket costs $2 and has a top prize of $20,000.


For more information on Coin Craze please visit the Illinois Lottery Web site at illinoislottery.com or for more information on Illinois Veteran programs and initiatives, or to apply for a Veteran’s Cash grant, visit the IDVA Web site at veterans.illinois.gov.  


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