SPRINGFIELD, Ill. | Rock Island's Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1303 was $100 better after an appearance by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn Monday in Milan.
Quinn made a stop at the Milan Hy-Vee on Veterans Day to promote the Veterans Cash lottery game that funds grants to veterans organizations across the state. He bought $10 worth of the tickets and handed them out to veterans on hand for the event.
One of the recipients was Paul Hymes Jr., commander of VFW Post 1303 in Rock Island, who gave Quinn a pair of wristbands and a VFW pin. After Quinn departed, Hymes scratched it off and found himself a winner.
That is $100 that will be donated to Post 1303's veterans relief fund, he proclaimed.
That is exactly what Quinn, a longtime champion of veterans causes, would like to hear.
"We can never do enough to honor the sacrifices of the men and women in uniform who have served our country," the governor said. "When you buy a Veterans Cash lottery ticket, you have a chance to win an prize and give back to our hometown heroes."
Since the veteran-centric lottery game started in 2006, more than $11 million in grants have been provided to 210 veterans organizations across Illinois. The Veterans Cash game costs $2 per ticket. The Illinois Lottery expects to provide $1 million to veterans organizations through this year's sales from the game.
Hymes thinks the lottery game is a good idea and noted that Hy-Vee, a supporter of local Honor Flights, was a good place to hold Monday's event.
"We only have so much money to give for help," he said.
Buying a lottery ticket helps beyond the generosity of a veteran willing to donate the earnings back to his VFW post, Quinn said.
"If you want to help veterans, buy one of these lottery tickets," he said. "Even if you don't win, you win by helping our veterans."
The game's top prize is $20,000.