First winner of big Illinois Lotto jackpot didn't let riches change him
Mike Wittkowski is no longer famous, and he's just fine with that.
In 1984, he was a 28-year-old North Side bachelor dreaming of hitting it big just like everybody else in a relatively new Illinois Lotto game that was building to a $40 million jackpot.
Unlike everybody else Sept. 1, he did win, picking the numbers 2-3-10-26-30-43 and pocketing what was at the time the single-largest lottery prize in U.S. history.
Flashback reader Bob Angone, of the South Loop, said he was at a wedding t ...
Dec 27, 2014, 12:42 pm - Lottery News forum
Illinois Lottery cuts ties with private manager
The split between the Illinois Lottery and its private manager, Northstar Lottery Group, is now official after three years of acrimony over lower-than-expected revenues.
The termination agreement, signed Tuesday by Gov. Pat Quinn, comes a little more than three months after he directed lottery officials to sever ties with the company after it fell short of promised revenues for the third consecutive year.
At the time, the company had posted record profits to the state, but those figures st ...
Dec 10, 2014, 9:11 pm - Lottery News forum
Illinois Lottery cancels My3 game
Last drawing Sunday
By Todd Northrop
Illinois lottery officials, acting on the recommendation of its private manager, Northstar Lottery Group, announced Tuesday they are removing My3 from its draw game portfolio.
The final drawing of My3 will be Sunday, September 14th at 6:30pm.
The game was launched two years ago and was designed to be a simplified alternative to the Pick 3 and Pick 4 games. However, due to its sales performance, the game is being removed from the draw game portfoli ...
Sep 10, 2014, 6:58 pm - Lottery News forum
With Northstar terminated, what will the Illinois Lottery do now?
So what's next for the Illinois Lottery?
That's the big question looming in the wake of Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's politically-expedient move late last week to fire Northstar Lottery Group. Quinn made history late in 2010 when he inked a 10-year contract with Northstar to become the first-ever private manager of any state lottery in the nation. Two other states now have private lottery managers Indiana and New Jersey.
Quinn's move last week to terminate Northstar may prove too little too la ...
Aug 23, 2014, 10:27 pm - Lottery News forum
Illinois to fire private lottery operator
The bumpy marriage between the state and the private company that operates the Illinois Lottery is ending in a divorce.
Gov. Pat Quinn's office confirmed to me today that it is ending its contract with Northstar Lottery Group LLC to operate the $2 billion-a-year lottery system, seven years earlier than scheduled.
It is not yet certain whether the separation will be voluntary by both parties, but a decision to end the contract has been made.
The governor's office has directed the lotter ...
Aug 23, 2014, 10:20 pm - Lottery News forum
Indecision at the Illinois Lottery over new national game
The Illinois Department of Lottery is working to decide whether it wants to take a chance on a new Monopoly game that will be rolled out in October across the United States.
The decision-making process is hurting the profitability of the Illinois Lottery, according the private company that manages it.
Northstar Lottery Group, which was awarded a 10-year contract to manage the Illinois Lottery in 2010, is pushing for the state to include a new, national $5 Monopoly game.
Northstar CEO ...
Jul 29, 2014, 7:06 am - Lottery News forum
Illinois legislator urges Gov. to fire company running the lottery
Northstar disagrees, says revenue targets met
Citing nearly three years of lackluster performance, an Illinois state lawmaker is urging Governor Pat Quinn to fire the company his administration hired to run the Illinois Lottery.
State Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo, said the state's contract with Northstar Lottery Group has cost taxpayers hundreds of millions in lost revenues due to the firm's failure to meet revenue goals.
The privatization of the Illinois State Lottery has been nothing ...
May 15, 2014, 12:13 pm - Lottery News forum
Chicago man credits mom with $2.5 million lottery win
A Chicago man is planning a special Mother's Day for his mom after she bought a lottery ticket for him that wound up being worth $2.5 million.
Daniel Stojak, 46, of Chicago, said his mother, Shirley, 77, also of Chicago, frequently buys him tickets at the Jewel-Osco in Niles where she has worked as a cashier for about 15 years.
Though Shirley Stojak had won some money before playing the lottery the most was $10,000 this April 1 was special.
That day, she bought a $10 instant ticket and ...
May 9, 2014, 4:21 pm - Lottery News forum
Chicago man wins lottery three times in three weeks
Three is a magic number, at least it might be for one Chicago resident.
Christopher Kaelin, an occasional lottery player, won the same lottery game three times in three weeks, officials announced Wednesday.
I never expected to win, Kaelin told Illinois lottery officials earlier this month, especially not three times.
Kaelin said his first win came during his lunch break when he bought a Crossword instant ticket at Gateway Newstand on Clark Street in Chicago and won $25,000.
Apr 24, 2014, 7:56 am - Lottery News forum
Lucky woman buying lottery ticket narrowly escapes truck crash
Includes video report
Surveillance cameras captured amazing video of a woman who barely escaped with her life when a truck crashed into a grocery store in the Park Manor, Illinois, neighborhood Friday afternoon.
It happened at the Farmers Food Basket at 71st and Martin Luther King Drive.
Witnesses say a Ford pickup truck hit two other vehicles in the intersection, then careened into the front of the store.
The woman, who was buying lottery tickets from a vending machine near the site ...
Apr 21, 2014, 11:19 am - Lottery News forum