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# Illinois Lottery adds new feature to numbers games

Sep 1, 2013, 11:49 am

Illinois Lottery: Illinois Lottery adds new feature to numbers gamesRating:

'Fireball' feature now on sale

Includes video report

By Todd Northrop

On Sept. 1, Illinois Lottery retailers will begin offering a new, optional feature called Fireball to its long-standing Pick 3 and Pick 4 daily draw games.

The new play option provides a chance to obtain more winning combinations.

The standard Pick 3 and Pick 4 games remain the same, as does the drawing schedule (seven days a week, twice a day) and game ticket price (starts at 50 cents).

Beginning Sunday, Sept. 1, players have the option to add Fireball for a cost equivalent to the player's original base wager.  For example, if someone wagers 50 cents on Pick 3 and adds the Fireball option, the cost of adding this option is an additional 50 cents (or \$1 total cost).

A player does not have to select Fireball to play or win the Pick 3 and Pick 4 games.  If someone chooses to play Fireball, the choice applies to all games contained on a single play slip.

"The Illinois Lottery launched these games over 30 years ago, and today we feel that it is time to refresh Pick 3 and Pick 4 to increase the winning experience for our players," said Francesco Parola, VP of Sales and Marketing for Northstar Lottery Group.  "Ultimately, we want to appeal to more people across Illinois to play exciting games like Pick 3 and Pick 4.  We will support this new feature with a statewide marketing campaign that kicks off September 1."

How it Works

A single Fireball drawing is held after each Pick 3 and Pick 4 drawing.  For each Fireball drawing, one ball is selected, which can be either a numbered ball or an unnumbered ball.

When a numbered Fireball ball is drawn, the number on that ball may be used to replace any one of the numbers drawn in the preceding Pick 3 or Pick 4 drawing to create winning combinations.

If the Fireball number is the same as one of the player's numbers, and the player's numbers match the numbers drawn for the player's play style, a bonus prize will be awarded.  For example, if a player wagered 1-2-3 straight and those same numbers were drawn in the regular Pick 3 drawing, they could win yet another straight prize payout if the Fireball number was 1, 2, or 3, because replacing one of the numbers drawn with the same Fireball number would result in another straight win.

The Fireball ball is drawn from a pool of numbered and unnumbered balls (10 numbered balls 0–9 and 10 unnumbered balls for Pick 3; 10 numbered balls 0–9 and 20 unnumbered balls for Pick 4).  If an unnumbered ball is drawn for Fireball, there is no additional opportunity to win prizes in that draw.  When a numbered Fireball ball is selected it does not guarantee a cash prize will result — you still have to match one the number combination on your ticket using the Fireball number as a replacement for any one number in the drawing results.

You can only win a prize using the Fireball number if you purchase the Fireball option when you buy your lottery ticket.

The winning numbers, including the Fireball number, will be displayed on Lottery Post's Illinois Lottery Results page soon after each drawing.  The drawings will continue to take place at 12:40 p.m. and 9:22 p.m. and will be broadcast live on WGN TV.  Overall odds of winning a Pick 3 or Pick 4 prize vary based on the type of wager.

Play slips used for the old Pick 3 and Pick 4 games will not work for the new games.  New play slips will be available by September 1 at all Illinois Lottery retailers that sell Pick 3 and Pick 4.

VIDEO: How to play with the new Fireball feature

Lottery Post Staff

69 comments. Last comment 9 years ago by jamella724.
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 JoeBigLottomelbourne , floridaUnited StatesMember #121134January 3, 2012249 PostsOffline September 1, 2013, 12:30 pmThis is a good and wonderful idea . I will try it out but in the back of my mind i think the first fireball l see is a hole in my wallect. They adding so much to cash3 and cash4 l bet it won't be long before we get big mac fries to go with it. Lol
 Littleoldlady100ClarksvilleUnited StatesMember #487July 15, 200217638 PostsOffline September 1, 2013, 12:36 pmI think it is a rip off.  They are trying to generate more money off the P3 and P4 to pay for some of their other loser games.   If the "fireball" was a good deal, they wouldn't have 10 numbered balls and 10 un numbered balls.  They would have a tier type payoff instead. If you know your number is going to hit, have patience and then KILL IT!You never know when you will get another hit.
 Jon DLos Angeles, CaliforniaUnited StatesMember #103809January 5, 20111530 PostsOffline September 1, 2013, 1:33 pmHmmm...I wonder if this Fireball bet is actually a good deal or not.(better or worse than base 48-50% payout) The lottery never likes to show people what the total payout of a game is, or the side bets.Odds and prize table from IL lottery site:
 Coin Toss100Zeta Reticuli Star SystemUnited StatesMember #30469January 17, 200611654 PostsOffline September 1, 2013, 1:57 pmQuote: Originally posted by Littleoldlady on September 1, 2013I think it is a rip off.  They are trying to generate more money off the P3 and P4 to pay for some of their other loser games.   If the "fireball" was a good deal, they wouldn't have 10 numbered balls and 10 un numbered balls.  They would have a tier type payoff instead. Agreed, Littleoldlady.Consdidering this:The Fireball ball is drawn from a pool of numbered and unnumbered balls (10 numbered balls 0–9 and 10 unnumbered balls for Pick 3; 10 numbered balls 0–9 and 20 unnumbered balls for Pick 4).  If an unnumbered ball is drawn for Fireball, there is no additional opportunity to win prizes in that draw.  When a numbered Fireball ball is selected it does not guarantee a cash prize will result — you still have to match one of the number combinations on your ticket using the Fireball number as a replacement for any one number on your ticket.we can break it down into Northstar telling the Pcik 3 Pplayers thanks you for playing and the Pick 4 players we really want to thank you for playing. 10 numbered balls and 20 unnumbered balls.......unless they offered a side bet of number or unnumbered fireball this shouldn't be allowed.This was supposed to start Auguest 25th but was postponed until September 1st to 'enhance' the game.Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any. So many systems, so many theories, so few jackpot winners. There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.
 Todd50Chief Bottle WasherNew JerseyUnited StatesMember #1May 31, 200026748 PostsOnline September 1, 2013, 1:58 pmQuote: Originally posted by Littleoldlady on September 1, 2013I think it is a rip off.  They are trying to generate more money off the P3 and P4 to pay for some of their other loser games.   If the "fireball" was a good deal, they wouldn't have 10 numbered balls and 10 un numbered balls.  They would have a tier type payoff instead. I'm not so sure it's a ripoff, because the Fireball number can be used in any position, and it is possible that it could help you win multiple times.  It might be a useful add-on especially if you play straights.  I'd be interested to see a mathematician dissect the odds when playing the Fireball option in different wagering scenarios. Check the State Lottery Report CardWhat grade did your lottery earn? Sign the Petition for True Lottery DrawingsHelp eliminate computerized drawings!
 phillylucky1philadelphia,pennsylvaniaUnited StatesMember #138694February 3, 2013374 PostsOffline September 1, 2013, 3:10 pmwe need this in pa ...im always off by one maybe i'll hit more often
 Ronnie316United StatesMember #116263September 7, 201120244 PostsOffline September 1, 2013, 3:12 pmQuote: Originally posted by phillylucky1 on September 1, 2013we need this in pa ...im always off by one maybe i'll hit more often
 crazya305floridaUnited StatesMember #117787October 14, 20112731 PostsOffline September 1, 2013, 3:54 pmThis is the biggest rip off. If I was y'all guys I stick to my same games you always been playing. Don't change your pattern because as soon you change your pattern that's when your numbers start to hit. Keep playing your same numbers. All they trying to do is make more money out of everyone. I'm just playing real about it. They are full of BS and they think they have all the sense. Play wisely
 helpmewin100u\$aUnited StatesMember #106660February 22, 201119967 PostsOffline September 1, 2013, 4:02 pmThe Best Idea Ever Illinois Lottery Fireball sounds amazing
 RedStangNYUnited StatesMember #121955January 21, 20123169 PostsOffline September 1, 2013, 4:32 pmSeems like it makes the 50/50 chance of winning now 25/75.
 Ronnie316United StatesMember #116263September 7, 201120244 PostsOffline September 1, 2013, 4:38 pmQuote: Originally posted by RedStang on September 1, 2013Seems like it makes the 50/50 chance of winning now 25/75.Have you enlisted the services of a mathematician?
 TenajCharlotte NCUnited StatesMember #17405June 18, 20054073 PostsOffline September 1, 2013, 5:49 pmI think I like it.  It's like a wild card. Wish I can play it.takeemtothebank
 LottoMetroHappylandUnited StatesMember #146338September 1, 20131175 PostsOffline September 1, 2013, 6:09 pmScam. They carefully word it to make it seem like a deal.You pay \$1 for a 50 cent (\$250) wager with Fireball. That brings average return of 37.5 cents.Or pay \$1 for a 1 dollar wager (\$500) without Fireball and get an average return of 50 cents.My first figure omits additional \$\$\$, but one of your numbers will only match the Fireball 5% of the time, so the "bonus winnings" are rare if ever.
 RedStangNYUnited StatesMember #121955January 21, 20123169 PostsOffline September 1, 2013, 6:41 pmQuote: Originally posted by Ronnie316 on September 1, 2013Have you enlisted the services of a mathematician?No. I asked my drinking buddy.

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