Illinois Lottery Acting Superintendent Jodie Winnett and President of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater Illinois Chapter Lynda Chott, announced the release of a new instant ticket that will fund research aimed at developing preventative mea
Illinois Lottery Acting Superintendent Jodie Winnett and President of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater Illinois Chapter Lynda Chott, announced the release of a new instant ticket that will fund research aimed at developing preventative measures and treatment of MS.
“It’s Double Time!” is the first instant ticket in U.S. Lottery history where 100 percent of net proceeds will be used to help people in Illinois living with MS.
“We are incredibly pleased to launch this new ticket that Gov. Blagojevich and state legislators passed through the General Assembly and are looking forward to playing a part in finding a cure for a disease that affects so many individuals and families throughout the state,” Winnett said.
Two co-sponsors of the bill include state Sen. Linda Holmes, D-42nd Dist., and state Rep. Kevin Joyce, D-35th Dist., both of whom have seen their families live with the challenges of MS.
“We anticipate great success with this ticket and are hopeful that it will attract new players who want to combine fun with the chance to support an important cause at the same time,” Winnett added.
Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable neurological disease that interrupts the flow of information between the brain and the rest of the body, and stops people from moving.
There are at least 400,000 Americans with MS, and every week, about 200 new people are diagnosed with the disease–more than one person an hour. In Illinois, there are an estimated 20,000 people and their families living with multiple sclerosis.
“The National MS Society is 100 percent committed to finding a cure for MS, and supports research that will lead to a cure and more effective treatments for MS,” said Chott. “The proceeds from this lottery ticket will move us closer to a world free of MS, and we’re pleased to celebrate a big win for MS research in Illinois.”
Treatment for multiple sclerosis is expensive and often means a significant portion of a family’s income is consumed by care giving, hospital and physician costs, medication, long-term care, assistive devices and equipment. The average cost for someone living with MS is $69,118 per year.
The Illinois General Assembly will appropriate proceeds from “It’s Double Time!” tickets to the Department of Public Health and the National MS Society, which will award grants to organizations conducting MS research in Illinois.
All grants funded by the ticket’s revenue will be reviewed and approved by the National MS Society’s Research Programs Advisory Committee, a panel that includes some 75 leading scientists, physicians and other professionals from virtually every field related to MS.
“It’s Double Time!” is available at Illinois Lottery retail locations. Each ticket will cost $2 and have a top prize of $20,000. It is estimated that the sale of this ticket will generate more than $1.3 million in net revenue each year.
Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery is a state agency with annual sales of $1.84 billion. Since its inception, the lottery has contributed more than $13 billion to the state Common School Fund to assist K-12 public schools. Players must be at least 18 years old.
MS stops people from moving. The National MS Society, Greater Illinois Chapter exists to make sure it doesn’t. The organization addresses the challenges of each person affected by MS by funding cutting-edge research, driving change through advocacy, facilitating professional education, collaborating with MS organizations around the world, and providing programs and services designed to help people with MS and their families move their lives forward. The organization wants to do something about MS, now. Studies show that early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can reduce future disease activity and improve the quality of life for many people with multiple sclerosis.
Talk to a health care professional and contact the National Multiple Sclerosis Society at msillinois.org or 1-800-344-4867 (1-800-FIGHT MS) to learn more about ways to help manage multiple sclerosis and about current research that may one day reveal a cure.
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