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Linda Kollmeyer & Jeanne Sparrow
Bill Lapp
The Illinois Lottery.png
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25th Anniversary Birthday Cake.png
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WGN/Syn. (Illinois) Special: June 1999
Jonathan Goodson Productions

The Illinois Lottery 25th Anniversary Special was a one-time special in 1999 as part of the Illinois Lottery's 25th-Anniversary promotion. People compete in minigames for a chance to win up to $200,000.

Contestant Selection (Pinball)[]

The Pinball game from the first season Illinois' Luckiest bonus round was used to select contestants. Several contestants are placed in each of the five slots and a ball is released. Wherever the ball lands in, the players occupying that slot got to play the minigame.


Rolling Thunder[]

In the first round, Jeanne set six balls (four yellow & two red) in a tumbler, then Bill pulled a lever which caused the balls to go down a track of ramps. The balls could split up and collide until they reached the bottom of the track and crossed the finish line. If a yellow ball finished first, the team got $5,000.

In the second round, an additional red ball was added, and the process went the same way. This time having a yellow ball finish first won the team an additional $10,000.

For the third and final round, the team could either have Jeanne place one or two more red balls in the tumbler. Bill made the final decision on this one. If the team wished to play the first set, having a yellow ball finish first won the team an additional $15,000. But if the team decided to go for the second set, and if a yellow ball finished first, the team will win an additional $35,000. This makes the possible grand total of $50,000.

Money Machine[]

Assistant Bill takes part in this game inside the "Money Machine" which was a glass box with wind blowing up inside it. Bill's job was to get as much money as possible for the team for the next 45 seconds. There are hundreds of lottery money totaling $50,000. Plus there was one special bill worth $50,000, and if that bill was found, the team instantly wins the $50,000. Bill can pick up specially marked sheets in the air but not from the floor and put them in his apron, his pockets, whatever suits him. When time is up, the team's winnings are placed & counted into the boxes. There were two boxes, one marked "Money Grabbed" and the other marked "Money on the Floor". The team decided which box to take and if the box they chose had the $50,000 bill inside it, they win that money; otherwise the team did divide the money inside the chosen box. The format is similar to the bonus round in the 2002-2003 version of Beat The Clock, and the bonus round of The Diamond Head Game.


The team faced a board of 18 numbered rods, split into three rows (1-4 on top, 5-10 in the middle, and 11-18 on the bottom), each holding up a colored ball. Rods 1-4 held up two reds and a green, the rest held yellow balls. Bill draws a number, and that number's rod gets removed from the playfield.

If a yellow ball splashes down into the water, the team wins $5,000. If no balls splash down, the team wins $500.

The only way the game ends (besides the captain saying "I'll stop") is if a red ball or the green ball splashes down. If a red ball splashes down, either by itself or with other colored balls (even the green one), the team lost half their winnings. If the green ball splashes down with no red ball, the team's total is bumped to $50,000.

The player with the highest money total of the night went on to become the "Booby Trapper" in Pot O' Gold. Ties were broken by the players with the highest numbers, or otherwise by the player who first selected the highest number.

Pot O' Gold (Bonus Game)[]

Played exactly like the "Pot of Gold" from Illinois' Luckiest; starting in 2000, Pot O' Gold had a train motif, and the challengers had a choice to take one, two or three steps closer to the "Big Money" area. It won't be easy because the "Trapper" set two traps on two spaces (one for each space). Challengers who fell into the traps were eliminated from the game but still got to keep whatever they won beforehand, with all contestants also guaranteed to leave with at least the house minimum of $500. The players who made it to the "Big Money" area without getting trapped won/shared $200,000. If all the challengers are eliminated, then the "Trapper" won all $200,000.


Main - Unknown
Others - Killer Tracks

Rolling Thunder Gameplay - "Grand Prix" by Al Capps
Money Machine Gameplay - "Hi-Technophobia" by John Hobbs

YouTube Videos[]