It’s not a trick: The Illinois Lottery on Halloween plans to give out hundreds of free Powerball tickets ahead of Monday’s $1 billion drawing.
But it’s also not as easy as trick-or-treating.
After no jackpot-winning tickets were sold in Saturday’s Powerball drawing, the pot — or, cauldron, rather — has ballooned to $1 billion. According to lottery officials, its the fifth jackpot to reach 10-figures in U.S. history.
And while tickets cost $2 per play, Illinois residents on Halloween have the chance to grab — literally — one (or more) free Powerball ticket at perhaps the “luckiest” locations in the state.
It’s called the “Halloween Ticket Grab Challenge” and here’s how it works.
When, where and how to get free Powerball tickets
According to Illinois Lottery officials, the “Halloween Ticket Grab Challenge” takes place at Monday Lucky Mart, at 2900 W. 87th St. in Chicago from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Illinois lotto officials at the Lucky Mart location have set up a “money machine full of Powerball tickets ready to be scooped up” a press release says. “Once inside the money machine, players have a few seconds to grab as many Powerball tickets as they can.”
Up for grabs? More than 500 Powerball tickets, lotto officials say.
The catch? Participants must be 18 or older — and must be wearing a Halloween costume, officials say.
According to the Illinois Lottery, Lucky Mart in Chicago’s Marycrest neighborhood is the Illinois location that’s served up the most treats over tricks this year, coming in as the Illinois Lottery retailer that has “sold the most winning Powerball tickets in 2022.”
Monday’s Powerball drawing takes place at 9:59 p.m. CST.
A look at the largest Powerball jackpots ever won in U.S. history
Jan. 2016: Powerball $1.586 billion (California, Florida, Tennessee)
Touted as the largest lottery jackpot ever won, the Jan. 13, 2016 Powerball drawing split a jackpot of nearly $1.6 billion among three lucky players.
Oct. 2018: Mega Millions $1.5 billion (South Carolina)
The largest prize ever won by a single ticket was awarded in the Oct. 23, 2018 drawing, with one lucky winner in South Carolina walking away with a cash prize of $877.8 million.
July 2022: Mega Millions $1.3 billion (Illinois)
The second-largest single-ticket win ever, this jackpot was won on a ticket purchased at a Speedway gas station in Des Plaines earlier this year.
Jan. 2021: Mega Millions $1 billion (Michigan, Kansas)
One of only three lottery jackpots to exceed $1 billion, this ticket, sold in Michigan, paid the winner $776.6 million as a cash prize.
Mar. 2019: Powerball $768.4 million (Wisconsin)
This winning ticket was purchased in New Berlin, Wisconsin.
These drawings round out the top ten:
Aug. 2017: Powerball $758.7 million (Massachusetts)
Jan. 2021: Powerball $731.1 million (Maryland)
Oct. 2021: Powerball $699.8 million (California)
Oct. 2018: Powerball $687.8 million (Iowa, New York)
Dec. 2013: Mega Millions $648 million (Georgia)
Mar. 2012: Mega Millions $646 million (Illinois, Maryland, California)
This jackpot, split three ways, was the highest total prize to ever be captured by an Illinois resident. Merle and Patricia Butler captured nearly $219 million by purchasing a ticket in Red Bud, located in the southwestern corner of the state.