SPRINGFIELD | Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to join more than 4,000 athletes at Illinois State University Friday night to open the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games.
The Democrat from Chicago will be in Normal to sign legislation creating a new lottery ticket benefiting the athletes.
The Opening Ceremonies begin with the Parade of Athletes and Honorary Coaches into ISU’s Hancock Stadium at 8 p.m. The Special Olympics flag will be brought into the stadium by athletes and coaches who will be leaving Saturday for the Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey.
The new law creates a "Go for the Gold" Lottery ticket to provide funding to support athlete training, competitions and programs for present and future Special Olympic athletes.
The ticket, expected to generate about $700,000 annually, won't be available until early next year. The tickets will have potential prizes of up $20,000. Overall odds of winning a prize will be about 1 in 4.65 tickets.
"With this new Lottery ticket, we can help Special Olympics Illinois ensure more of our competitors are able to ‘Go for the Gold,'" Quinn said in a prepared statement Friday.
Special Olympics Illinois CEO Dave Breen said the additional money will help expand opportunities for Special Olympians, their families and volunteers.
“We are incredibly grateful for this new initiative that will allow Special Olympics Illinois to continue transforming the lives of both current and future generations of Special Olympics Athletes,” Breen said.