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Illinois Lottery Releases New MS Ticket, Dash! For Cash
Date:4/6/2009

More than $1.4 million generated to fund multiple sclerosis research

CHICAGO, April 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Illinois Lottery is encouraging the public to continue their support for MS education and awareness by purchasing the newest $2 instant ticket called "Dash! For Cash." On March 4, 2009, the Lottery released "Dash! For Cash" to continue the "movement" to "scratch-out" multiple sclerosis. "Dash! For Cash" is the second instant game created to support the nation's first-ever lottery ticket where 100 percent of the net proceeds are used to help create a world free of MS.

"To date, the first MS ticket has generated more than $1.4 million," said Illinois Lottery Acting Superintendent Jodie Winnett. "We are encouraging our current player base to purchase this ticket, and new players to support this cause as well."

Activists from the National MS Society, Greater Illinois and Gateway Area chapters, which represent more than 20,000 people in Illinois, helped change the way legislators view multiple sclerosis. The new ticket will provide funding for the Illinois Multiple Sclerosis Research Fund. The earmarked funds from the sale of "Dash! For Cash" instant tickets will support much needed research that will help us provide better care through understanding the disease and some day discover a cure.

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable neurological disease that interrupts the flow of information between the brain and the rest of the body, and can severely limit an individual's ability to move. There are at least 400,000 Americans living with MS, and every week about 200 new people are diagnosed with the disease -- more than one person an hour. Approximately 20,000 people and their families are living with multiple sclerosis in Illinois.

"The National MS Society is 100 percent committed to finding a cure for MS," said National MS Society, Greater Illinois Chapter President, Lynda Chott. "The proceeds from this Lottery ticket will fund MS research projects in Illinois and we are looking forward to funding crucial research through the success of this new ticket."

Treatment for multiple sclerosis is expensive and a significant portion of a family's income is consumed by care giving, hospital and physicians costs, medication, long-term care, assistive devices and equipment. The average treatment cost for someone living with MS is $69,118 annually.

The Illinois General Assembly will continue to appropriate proceeds from "Dash! For Cash" ticket sales to the Department of Public Health and the National MS Society, which in turn, will award grants to organizations conducting MS research in Illinois. All grants funded by the ticket's revenue have and will continue to be reviewed and approved by the National MS Society's Research Programs Advisory Committee, a panel that includes 75 leading scientists, physicians and other professionals from virtually every field related to MS.

"Dash! For Cash" is available at various Illinois Lottery retailer locations across the state. Each ticket costs $2 and offers four top prizes of $20,000. The odds for this ticket are 1 in 4.15 and give players two ways to play by matching YOUR NUMBERS to either WINNING NUMBER or get a RUNNER to win a prize automatically.

For more information regarding "Dash! For Cash," please visit the Illinois Lottery Web site at www.illinoislottery.com or for more information regarding multiple sclerosis, visit www.MSIllinois.org or www.gatewayMSsociety.org.

    Contacts:
    Tracy Owens                          Laura Canonaco
    Illinois Lottery                     National MS Society
    (312) 793-1682 (office)              (312) 423-1124 (office)
    (312) 590-9933 (cell)                (312) 237-1224 (cell)


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SOURCE Illinois Lottery
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