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How do you play Holiday Millionaire raffle?

The Holiday Millionaire Raffle is an exciting opportunity to win amazing cash prizes during the holiday season. With a limited number of tickets available, your odds of winning are much better than most other lottery games. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to play and win the Holiday Millionaire Raffle.

What is the Holiday Millionaire Raffle?

The Holiday Millionaire Raffle is a limited raffle-style lottery drawing conducted by the Illinois Lottery. It launched in 2006 and has continued each holiday season since. The raffle features prize drawings with a cap on the number of tickets sold. In 2022, there were only 500,000 tickets available for sale. Because of the limited quantity, your odds of winning a prize are about 1 in 187.

The raffle takes place each November-December during the holiday season. Tickets go on sale in early November and remain on sale until they sell out. The raffle culminates in several early bird drawings held before the grand prize drawings on December 28.

The Holiday Millionaire Raffle offers great prize money across all of its drawings:

  • Grand Prizes: 2 prizes of $1 million and 4 prizes of $100,000
  • Early Bird Prizes: 100 prizes of $10,000
  • Second Early Bird Prizes: 100 prizes of $5,000

In total, there are $6.7 million in cash prizes up for grabs in the raffle drawings.

Key Facts About the Holiday Millionaire Raffle

Launch Year 2006
Host Lottery Illinois Lottery
Ticket Cap 500,000
Odds of Winning Any Prize 1 in 187
Total Prizes $6.7 million

When does the Holiday Millionaire Raffle take place?

The Holiday Millionaire Raffle takes place each November and December. Here is a breakdown of the key dates:

  • Early November: Tickets go on sale. The sales period will last until tickets sell out.
  • November 18: First Early Bird drawing for $10,000 prizes.
  • November 21: Second Early Bird drawing for $5,000 prizes.
  • December 2: Third Early Bird drawing for $10,000 prizes.
  • December 5: Fourth Early Bird drawing for $10,000 prizes.
  • December 9: Fifth Early Bird drawing for $10,000 prizes.
  • December 28: Grand Prize drawing for $1 million and $100,000 top prizes.

The raffle ticket sales period usually lasts 4-6 weeks. Players must purchase tickets by the entry deadline for each Early Bird drawing to be eligible. All tickets are eligible for the Grand Prize drawing on December 28.

Holiday Millionaire Raffle Calendar

Early November Tickets go on sale
November 18 First Early Bird drawing
November 21 Second Early Bird drawing
December 2 Third Early Bird drawing
December 5 Fourth Early Bird drawing
December 9 Fifth Early Bird drawing
December 28 Grand Prize drawing

How to buy Holiday Millionaire Raffle tickets

When tickets go on sale in early November, there are a few different ways to purchase your Holiday Millionaire Raffle tickets:

  • Online: Purchase tickets online at the Illinois Lottery website. Create an account, deposit funds, and buy your raffle tickets online.
  • In-person: Visit any Illinois Lottery retailer, such as gas stations, grocery stores, liquor stores, and more, to buy tickets in person.
  • Illinois Lottery app: Download the Illinois Lottery app on your iOS or Android device to purchase raffle tickets right from your phone.
  • Mail: Order raffle tickets by mail using the Illinois Lottery subscription program before the sales deadline.

Each raffle ticket costs $25. You can purchase up to 20 raffle tickets on one playslip. Credit cards, cash, and winning Illinois Lottery tickets up to $599 can all be used to purchase tickets. All ticket sales are final once purchased.

When buying raffle tickets in person, be sure to complete the playslip carefully. You will need to choose five sets of raffle numbers from 0000 to 4999. Each ticket will have a unique number combination. Remember to sign your playslip after choosing your numbers.

How to Complete a Holiday Millionaire Raffle Playslip

  1. Mark the number of raffle ticket plays you want to purchase, from 1 to 20.
  2. Complete five number sets from 0000 to 4999 for each ticket play.
  3. Sign your completed raffle playslip.
  4. Give the completed playslip and payment to the retail clerk.

How the Raffle Drawings Work

The Holiday Millionaire Raffle features several Early Bird drawings leading up to the grand prize drawings. Here is how the raffle drawings work:

  • Early Bird Drawings: Five Early Bird Drawings will be held on the dates leading up to the grand prize drawings. For each drawing, 100 tickets are drawn to award prizes of either $10,000 or $5,000.
  • Grand Prize Drawings: The Grand Prize Drawings take place December 28. In these drawings, 2 raffle tickets are drawn to award $1 million prizes. Then, 4 more are drawn to award $100,000 prizes.
  • Drawing Eligibility: To be eligible for each Early Bird drawing, players must purchase tickets before that drawing’s entry deadline. All tickets are eligible for the grand prize drawings.
  • Broadcast Live: The raffle drawings are broadcast on TV and streamed live online. Winning number combinations are also posted after the drawings.

Raffle winners have one year from the date of the drawing to claim their prize. Tickets must match the winning number combinations exactly to win. Illinois Lottery officials oversee and certify the results of each drawing.

Holiday Millionaire Raffle Drawings Schedule

Drawing Date Prizes Tickets Drawn
Nov. 18 100 x $10,000 100
Nov. 21 100 x $5,000 100
Dec. 2 100 x $10,000 100
Dec. 5 100 x $10,000 100
Dec. 9 100 x $10,000 100
Dec. 28 2 x $1 million
4 x $100,000

Odds of Winning Holiday Millionaire Raffle Prizes

With only 500,000 tickets available and $6.7 million in prizes, the Holiday Millionaire Raffle offers excellent odds for players. The overall odds of winning any prize are 1 in 187. Let’s take a closer look at the odds for each prize tier:

  • $1 Million (2 prizes): 1 in 250,000 per $1 million prize
  • $100,000 (4 prizes): 1 in 125,000 per $100,000 prize
  • $10,000 (300 prizes): 1 in 1,667 per $10,000 prize
  • $5,000 (100 prizes): 1 in 5,000 per $5,000 prize

To put that in perspective, your odds of being struck by lightning at some point in your life are about 1 in 15,000. So you are much more likely to win a $10,000 Holiday Millionaire prize than be struck by lightning!

Of course, your chances increase with the more raffle tickets you buy. 20 tickets will give you 20 chances at the various prizes.

Holiday Millionaire Raffle Odds Chart

Prize Odds of Winning
$1 Million (2 prizes) 1 in 250,000 per prize
$100,000 (4 prizes) 1 in 125,000 per prize
$10,000 (300 prizes) 1 in 1,667 per prize
$5,000 (100 prizes) 1 in 5,000 per prize

Claiming Holiday Millionaire Raffle Prizes

For all drawing prizes, players have one year from the date of the drawing to claim their Holiday Millionaire winnings. Here are the steps to take to claim your prize:

  1. Sign the ticket: Sign your name on the back of the winning raffle ticket to secure your ownership of that ticket.
  2. Protect the ticket: Store the ticket safely, such as in a safety deposit box, until ready to claim.
  3. Visit Illinois Lottery: Bring your ticket to a Lottery office or claims center along with a valid photo ID.
  4. Complete paperwork: Fill out the claim form and IRS documents at the Lottery office.
  5. Collect your prize: You will receive your prize winnings via check in 4-6 weeks after processing.

If claiming a prize over $600, you may need to complete paperwork for tax withholding purposes. Illinois requires state tax withholding on prizes over $1,000. Remember, Lottery winnings are considered taxable income.

Make sure you keep your winning ticket safe until ready to claim. Signing the ticket and making copies for safekeeping are recommended. If you lose an unsigned winning ticket or it is stolen, there is no way to recover the prize.

What to Bring to Claim Your Holiday Millionaire Prize

  • Signed winning raffle ticket
  • Valid photo ID
  • Social Security card
  • W-2/1099 tax form

Is the Holiday Millionaire Raffle a scam?

The Holiday Millionaire Raffle is conducted by the Illinois Lottery and regulated by Illinois state government. It is certainly not a scam. Players can verify drawing results through the Lottery as well. With 20 drawings each year awarding over 500 prizes, many contestants win real money. Past winners are also featured in Lottery press releases and announcements.

Here are some key signs the Holiday Millionaire Raffle is legitimate:

  • The raffle is government-run by the Illinois Lottery.
  • Winners can be verified through Lottery records.
  • Lottery drawings are conducted under tight security.
  • A set number of tickets are sold.
  • Proceeds benefit public schools and capital projects in Illinois.

So unlike some questionable foreign lotteries or sweepstakes, players can trust the Holiday Millionaire Raffle is the real deal. The game has awarded over $200 million in prizes to lucky winners since its inception in 2006.

Indicators the Holiday Millionaire Raffle is Legitimate

– Government-run lottery
– Verified winners
– Secure drawing procedures
– Capped ticket sales
– Proceeds benefit public good

Getting help with gambling problems

For most, playing the lottery is harmless entertainment. But for some people, lottery play leads to financial issues or gambling addiction. If you or someone you know has a problem with gambling on lottery games, help is available.

Here are some resources for getting help with a gambling problem:

  • Call the Illinois gambling helpline: 1-800-GAMBLER is available 24/7 for problem gambling support and resources.
  • Contact a support group: Gamblers Anonymous has local chapters providing peer support for recovering gambling addicts.
  • Seek professional help: Counselors and addiction treatment centers offer help for compulsive gambling behavior.
  • Use gambling blocking software: Software like Gamban blocks access to gambling sites and apps.
  • Avoid temptation: Stop visiting casinos, limit lottery play, and avoid trigger situations.

Signs of problem gambling include lack of control over lottery play, jeopardizing finances or relationships due to gambling, and failed attempts to cut back on playing. The sooner gambling problems are addressed, the better the chances of getting back on track financially and emotionally.

Resources for Problem Gambling Issues

– Illinois gambling helpline
– Gamblers Anonymous groups
– Counseling and therapy
– Blocking software
– Avoiding trigger situations


The Holiday Millionaire Raffle provides a fun and exciting chance to win big money prizes during the holiday season. With capped ticket sales and multiple prize drawings, it offers much better odds than most lottery games. By following the tips covered here, you can play the raffle properly, boost your chances of winning, and claim prizes smoothly. Just remember to play responsibly and within your budget. Good luck and happy holidays!