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December 1, 2009

Illinois Lottery and Illinois Department of Public Health Team Together to Support HIV/AIDS-Prevention Education
Statewide Launch of New Quality of Life Scratch-off Ticket and “Wrap it Up Illinois” Initiative

CHICAGO – In recognition of World AIDS Day, the Illinois Lottery and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today unveiled a new Quality of Life scratch-off ticket, “Red Ribbon Bonus Bucks,” where 100 percent of the net proceeds support HIV/AIDS-prevention education and awareness across Illinois.

The Illinois Lottery, in partnership with IDPH, legislative supporters and HIV/AIDS advocates, is once again working together to raise millions of dollars to help people living with HIV/AIDS in Illinois and is encouraging residents to “Wrap it Up Illinois.”

“It is so important for everyone to be aware of HIV/AIDS in their community, learn about how the disease is transmitted and what risky behaviors to avoid. HIV counseling and testing enables people with HIV to take steps to protect their own health and that of their partners,” said Dr. Arnold.  “World AIDS Day is a great opportunity for people to get the information they need to stay uninfected and pass it along to friends and family.  Know your status - the only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested.” 

Illinois has the sixth highest number of AIDS cases in the nation, with more than 40,000 reported cases of AIDS since 1981. Of those diagnosed with the disease, about 19,996 persons have died.  In 2008, there were 1,915 persons newly diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.  This represents an 8 percent increase in the number of new diagnoses over the previous year.

“We are incredibly pleased to launch this new ticket and along with the ‘Wrap it Up Illinois’ initiative where we can all stand together to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS in Illinois and across the globe,” said Illinois Lottery Acting Superintendant Jodie Winnett.

During this winter season, the Illinois Lottery is encourage residents to “Wrap it Up Illinois,” and are offering a special red Quality of Life commemorative scarf (while supplies last) to those who submit $20 worth of non-winning “Red Ribbon Bonus Bucks” scratch-off tickets.

Players can submit their non-winning “Red Ribbon Bonus Bucks” tickets to:
Wrap it Up Illinois
c/o Emmis Communications
222 Merchandise Mart Plaza
Suite 230
Chicago, IL 60654         

For more information regarding “Wrap it Up Illinois,” visit www.wrapitupillinois.com.

The new Quality of Life scratch-off ticket, “Red Ribbon Bonus Bucks,” is in distribution at Illinois Lottery retail locations across the state. Each ticket will cost $2 and have four top prizes of $20,000. Net revenue from the sale of Quality of Life tickets will be deposited into an interest bearing account in the State Treasury called the Quality of Life Endowment Fund.

About Illinois Lottery
Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery is a state agency with annual sales of more than $2 billion. Since its inception, the Lottery has contributed more than $14 billion to the state Common School Fund to assist K-12 public schools. Players must be at least 18 years old. For more information on the Illinois Lottery please visit our Web site at www.illinoislottery.com.

For more information about HIV/AIDS in Illinois, call the Illinois AIDS/HIV & STD Hotline at 1-800-243-2437 or TTY (hearing impaired use only) 1-800-782-0423.  It’s free and anonymous (no names).  Trained counselors can help to answer your questions and help you to find a testing site that’s right for you. They are available seven days a week (9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends).


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