Lottery tickets that devote all profits to breast cancer research and awareness hit stores Monday, with supporters saying the pink ribbon scratch-offs will net $3 million a year for the cause.
Four thousand of the $2 tickets will make their way to Illinois retailers by the end of the week, lottery spokesman Courtney Hill said. Players can win up to $20,000 on each ticket. Chances of winning, including breaking even, are 1 in 4.59.
Profits go to a "Ticket for the Cure" fund. The General Assembly appropriates this money to the Department of Public Health, which will oversee grants and awards to breast cancer research and service organizations. A board composed of 10 members chosen by the governor and legislative leaders will approve the grants. The game ends in 2011.
Help or hurt education?
The lottery generated $1.84 billion last year; $614 million went to education. Lottery officials say the game will increase the player base so the lottery can meet and possibly exceed its contributions to education.
State Sen. Dan Rutherford (R-Pontiac), one of nine senators who voted against the lottery bill, said the game will draw money away from education. "How many games do we create for all the other causes out there?"