100% of proceeds will go toward aiding those with the disease
By Kate Northrop
This month, the Illinois Lottery released a new inaugural lottery ticket that is designed to raise awareness and support care for those suffering from Alzheimer's.
Players can purchase a specialty scratch-off lottery game called "The End of Alzheimer's Begins With Me" for $3. 100% of the proceeds from the instant ticket are allocated to the Alzheimer's Awareness Fund, which is overseen by the Alzheimer's Association Illinois chapter. The fund supports expanded care for those affected by the disease and helps to spread awareness and education.
"Many people don't know that the Illinois Lottery helps fund several organizations throughout the year by launching specialty tickets," Harold Mays, the Illinois Lottery Acting Director said. "This September, we're thrilled to be partnering with the Alzheimer's Association Illinois for the first time to help enable the impactful work they do in Alzheimer's care and awareness."
According to the Illinois Lottery, there are 5.8 million Americans above the age of 65 living with Alzheimer's, 230,000 of whom reside in Illinois. In the state alone, there are reportedly 587,000 caregivers providing 668 million hours of unpaid care valued at $8.7 billion.
"Funds raised through the Illinois Lottery will be used to not only provide care and support, but also vital education and awareness to those families affected by Alzheimer's and other dementias in Illinois," Alzheimer's Association Illinois Executive Director Delia Jervier stated.
The Lottery has released other specialty tickets in the past. The "White Ice" instant ticket released last November raised over $16.2 million to support veterans, while the "Carolyn Adams Ticket for the Cure" game launched last October raised over $13 million to help fight breast cancer.
To bolster interest, the Lottery will also be hosting a live virtual concert series for listeners aged 18 years and older, at which "The End of Alzheimer's Begins With Me" tickets will be given out. The game offers three top prizes worth $50,000 and 60 second-tier prizes of $500.
Livestreamed concerts take place on Friday nights and feature local Chicago artists as part of the Virtual Live! At Mariano's series, a music experience sponsored by the Lottery. The concerts aim to drive more awareness and funding for the Alzheimer's Association's Illinois chapter while simultaneously supporting local artists and businesses.
On Friday, September 11, Illinois Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton kicked off the virtual event that featured vocalist, instrumentalist and songwriter Marqueal Jordan. Last year, she also partnered with the organization to jumpstart the "Through Our Eyes" initiative, which aims to make Illinois a dementia-capable state. Speakers in the statewide listening tour ranged from caregivers to doctors to researchers and educated others about the disease and experiences related to Alzheimer's.
"My mother, Velma Wiggins, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's-related dementia," Stratton said. "During the last three years of her life, I was honored to be her primary caregiver and witnessed firsthand the challenges of finding resources."
The one-hour concerts sponsored by the Lottery will be livestreamed at 6:00 pm on the Mariano's Market Facebook page on Fridays. The schedule for the next three events is as follows, provided by the Illinois Lottery:
- Sept. 18 — Kaina (Latin inspired, Soul, R&B, and Blues)
- Sept. 25 — Eric Roberson (Neo-soul, R&B, and House)
- Oct. 2 — J. Ivy (Hip-Hop and Performance Poet)
(Click to display full-size in gallery)