SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Lottery officials say sales for the fiscal year that ended June 30 topped $2.67 billion, a nearly 18 percent increase over the previous year.

Lottery Superintendent Michael Jones says a key to increased sales was the change in the lottery’s image. The lottery is managed by Northstar Lottery Group, a private company.

Jones said the lottery placed an emphasis on specialty games such as Veterans’ Cash and Ticket for the Cure. That allowed players to risk money for a large prize, with proceeds going to a cause they believe in.

Jones said other marketing highlights include relaunching the Little Lotto as the Lucky Day Lotto.

Lottery officials say out of the $2.67 billion taken in, $708.6 million went to “good causes,” including nearly $640 million to public schools.

© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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