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The Greater Illinois Chapter works to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS in Illinois and to raise funds for critical MS research. Join the movement toward a world free of MS.

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Illinois Lottery Launches the ‘MS Project’ Instant Game

March 6, 2015

New Game Expected to raise $2 million for Multiple Sclerosis Research in Illinois

CHICAGO, IL – March 6, 2015 – The Illinois Lottery, Illinois Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, and the Illinois Department of Public Health launched today the Lottery’s latest instant game that funds research into the cause, prevention and future cure of multiple sclerosis (MS).

“I’m proud to stand with roughly 20,000 Illinoisans living with multiple sclerosis,” Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti said. “The new Illinois Lottery instant game will help fund important research to identify what causes MS, how we can prevent it and one day hopefully find a cure. As someone living with this disease, I am honored to join the Illinois Lottery today to launch this new game and hopefully bring us one step closer to curing MS.”

The MS Project, the eighth edition of the “special cause” Lottery instant game that funds MS research in Illinois, is expected to raise nearly $2 million for the cause. The actual ticket, the ability to win $250,000 instantly if played, and details of where profits of the game are used, were announced at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, a 2014 recipient of The MS Project funds.

Illinois Lottery Director Michael Jones and Lt. Governor Sanguinetti were joined by Dr. Nirav Shah, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health; Holly Messick, President of the National MS Society Greater Illinois Chapter; and Drs. Melissa Brown and Stephen Miller, Northwestern MS grant recipients.

“The MS Project instant game represents what a lottery is all about. If you choose to buy a ticket because you’re feeling lucky--or because you’d like to support this great cause--you have an equal chance to win up to $250,000 instantly,” said Lottery Director Jones. “This lottery game gives every adult in Illinois the opportunity to willingly participate in funding critical research on MS. Look for the bright orange ticket on display at 8,100 retailers throughout our state.”

“This is a time of great promise for people living with MS, with many novel strategies being explored in clinics and laboratories throughout the country and around the world,” said Holly Messick, President of the Greater Illinois Chapter of the National MS Society. “With more than 15 Lottery funded research projects currently taking place across the state, Illinois has become a leader for cutting-edge research aimed at restoring function to people who live with this often devastating disease.”

All profits for The MS Project instant game go to the Illinois Multiple Sclerosis Research Fund, which awards grants to organizations conducting MS research in Illinois. All grants are 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.

“We are fortunate that our partners in the Governor’s office, Lottery, and in the field continue to cohost this event every year,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Nirav Shah.  “We’ve raised $7 million toward MS research since we began partnering in 2008 and we look forward to supporting innovative projects that will ultimately lead to the end of this debilitating disease.”

“I have used funding from the Illinois MS Lottery to advance a new research direction in my laboratory,” said Dr. Stephen Miller of Northwestern.  “The grant has furthered our work on studying the ability of various drugs to promote myelin repair in combination with drugs which target the autoimmune response in mouse models of multiple sclerosis.” 

MS Project is available at more than 8,100 Illinois Lottery retailer locations across the state. Each MS Project ticket costs $5. Available prizes range from $5 to $250,000 (four top prizes are available).  For more information regarding MS Project, please visit illinoislottery.com or for more information regarding multiple sclerosis, visit MSIllinois.org or gatewayMSsociety.org. 

About Illinois Lottery: Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery has contributed over $18 billion to the state’s Common School Fund to assist K-12 public schools, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars to the Capital Projects Fund and to special causes like Illinois Veterans, the fight against breast cancer, MS research, and assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS. In addition to playing in-store, the Illinois Lottery offers online and mobile play for Mega Millions, Powerball, Lotto and Lucky Day Lotto at illinoislottery.com. Players must be at least 18 years old.

About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society: MS stops people from moving. The National MS Society, Greater Illinois and Gateway Area chapters exist to make sure it doesn’t. They address 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.

About the Illinois Department of Public Health: Founded in 1877, the Illinois Department of Public Health is responsible for protecting the state’s 12.4 million residents, as well as countless visitors, through the prevention and control of disease and injury. The Department's nearly 200 programs touch virtually every age, aspect and cycle of life.

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About the Greater Illinois Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society

The Greater Illinois Chapter works to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS across a 73-county territory, starting at the Wisconsin-Illinois border and extending south through the northern and central areas of Illinois, and to raise funds for critical MS research. Join the movement toward a world free of MS.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

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