NORMAL - The opening ceremonies of the 2014 Special Olympics kicks off Friday and the state unveils a new way to help fund future games.
Gov. Pat Quinn (D) is expected to sign a bill creating the "Go for the Gold" Lottery ticket. It's a new scratch-off game and it'll provide funding for "increased opportunities" for Special Olympics athletes across the state.
"Special Olympics Illinois is a treasure to our state and to the many Illinois residents who benefit from their spirit of giving" said Quinn. "With this new Lottery ticket, we can help Special Olympics Illinois ensure more of our competitors are able to 'Go for the Gold.'"
The ticket will cost $2 and will be available in early 2015.
The state anticipates the game will raise $700,000 the first year. The money will be used to support athlete training, competitions, and programs for future games. More than 21,000 athletes and 40,000 volunteers are involved with the Special Olympics.