Viewers at home can win $10,000 through a text messaging contest
The Illinois Lottery will be reaching out to people throughout the state when it televises its finale game show later this month.
On Sept. 22, at 12:30 p.m. CST, the Illinois Lottery will celebrate its "Million Dollar Summer" promotion by awarding 16 second-chance players at least $50,000, with one lucky player winning the $1 million grand prize.
WLS-TV (ABC 7 Chicago) will televise the finale and feature "190 North" correspondent Lou Canellis as the show's host. Cannelis will help contestants choose their play-by-play options.
Each player will face a tough choice as the tension builds: should they keep the dollar amount awarded in round one, or continue playing for the chance to win $1 million?
In expanding this year's "Million Dollar Summer finale to television, Lottery officials expect to reach a broader audience and generate additional excitement for the Lottery brand throughout the state.
"Our grand finale often takes place in Chicago because of the city's spectacular setting and unique venues. This year, we wanted to televise the finale to engage current and potential players from a wider region-and give us an opportunity to truly showcase players' excitement about the prospect of winning big," said Illinois Lottery Superintendent Jodie Winnett.
In another new twist, the Lottery is giving viewers at home a chance to win $10,000 through a text messaging contest. Text-in directions will be aired throughout the 30-minute game show.
"We wanted to capitalize on the growing trend of extending promotions to the thousands of consumers who enjoy interactive experiences using their mobile devices," Winnett said.
"Each year's finale gives our players a chance to participate in a really fun event that brings the game experience to life for them," she added. "It also extends the value of each Lottery ticket and helps drive additional sales and profits for K-12 public education."
In the past, the Lottery has hosted finales in huge venues such as Wrigley Field and US Cellular Field, giving away cash prizes, including the $1 million top prize, vacations and new cars.
"Million Dollar Summer" has been highly anticipated by devoted Lottery players. Some have been waiting a full year for this chance, including 2007's first finalist, Dale Loudermilk of Peoria, Ill.
"In September 2006, I learned about last year's summer promotion. At the time, I thought that was a great way to win $1 million," said Lowdermilk. "In April, I began saving my lottery tickets to enter this summer's promotion."
Fellow finalist Tracey Hurley of New Lenox, Ill., hopes he and his wife can contain their emotions if he wins the million dollars. When he first learned he would be participating in the finale, Hurley called his wife, and said he was "going bananas inside." When his wife Caryl heard the good news, Hurley stated, "you didn't need the phone to hear her from where I was standing on Michigan Avenue to New Lenox-she was screaming so loud."