2018 has started off on a beautiful note for one lucky player in Illinois. Last week, Illinois Lottery officials confirmed that a player with an online subscription has won an $18 million jackpot. Officials did not confirm if the player has stepped forward to claim the big win, but whoever it is has one year to claim the prize.
The winner of this one probably won’t be forgetting to claim the prize this year because the ticket was purchased through the official Illinois online lottery website, which is only open to state residents. This means the Illinois Lottery has already verified this customer’s identity, address and payment information. They have everything they need to track this player down and make sure he or she claims the big prize.
Illinois is one of just seven states in the US that allows its lottery to sell tickets to customers online. The other US states with online lottery sales are Georgia, Kentucky, Virginia, Michigan, New York and New Hampshire. Every other state requires lottery tickets to be purchased the old-fashioned way by visiting a retailer in person.
Can I play the Illinois lottery online?
If you live in Illinois, you can buy lottery tickets online straight from the official website. Otherwise, you’ll have to look for other options such as unofficial lottery betting sites or delivery services.
At this time, I do not know of any reputable lottery sites that sell Illinois lottery tickets online. None of our recommended lotto sites cover the Illinois lottery. In fact, I don’t know of any sites that offer Illinois lotto tickets.
However, there are plenty of other lotteries out there that are just as good as the Illinois lottery. The New York lotto is run in a similar manner with jackpots that are just as big and tickets that cost just $0.50 per line with a minimum purchase of 2 lines.
New York lotto jackpots have reached as high as $65 million in the past, so you won’t be missing out on any big jackpots if you try this one instead. The only downside is the New York lotto jackpot has odds of about 1 in 40 million while the Illinois jackpot has odds of just 1 in 20 million.
One other alternative that more closely resembles the Illinois lottery is the New Jersey Pick 6 XTRA game. That one costs $1 per play and has top prize odds that are even better than the Illinois lotto at 1 in 13.9 million. The record New Jersey Pick 6 jackpot stands at $48.9 million. You can play this one online at TheLotter.
What’s the difference between playing online at the official website and playing online elsewhere?
Whether we’re talking about the Illinois lottery or any other drawing, the official website is always cheaper than using an unofficial lotto ticket delivery service. The official website sells lotto tickets at face value because it is authorized to sell tickets direct to players online. Unofficial “messenger service” lottery sites have to pay people to go buy the tickets for you, and that results in a higher price.
If you ever have the option to buy lottery tickets from an official source, that is definitely the way to go. Where the best lottery sites come in handy is the convenience they offer for lotteries you do not have physical access to. For example, online lottery sites allow people in the US to test their luck in EuroMillions while people in Europe can take a crack at Powerball without anyone having to book a plane trip to go buy tickets in person.
Lottery delivery sites simply send someone out to go buy batches of tickets to fulfill customer orders. Those tickets are then scanned and uploaded to your account so you can verify that they have been purchased and check your numbers after the drawing. Smaller prizes are paid straight to your customer account while bigger prizes trigger the lottery site to contact you and make payment arrangements.