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Illinois Lottery site down amid Mega Millions frenzy

March 30, 2012|RedEye

Illinois residents looking to cash in on the record-breaking Mega Millions jackpot using the state's new online purchasing system were out of luck Friday afternoon. Several RedEye staffers received error messages after trying to purchase tickets from, alerting them tickets couldn't be purchased outside of Illinois or on a mobile device. Uh, yeah, we got that.

Similar complaints sprung up on Twitter.

As of 3:25 p.m., the site was down and had this message for frustrated users: "Our site is currently unavailable due to maintenance in progress. It will be available shortly. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience."

The Mega Millions lottery jackpot hit a record $640 million Friday afternoon and the buzz has been unprecedented. But don't get too excited. People have a better chance getting struck by lightning or eaten by bacteria than winning. Happy, Friday!

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