Here are ten things about the state of Illinois that you didn't know.

If you're like me and a lifelong Illinois resident or lived here a long time, I would say it's a safe bet that you know a lot about the state. You could easily clean-up on a "Land of Lincoln" category on "Jeopardy."

Maybe, you're looking for a way to earn a quick buck by making unique bets with your friends and family. Well, how about some information that might help you. I think some uncommonly know facts about Illinois would work.

According to,

"Think you know the prairie state? Think again, Here are 10 quirky insights into the place we all call home."

  • Illinois has more personalized license plates than any other state.
  • In the Logan County village of Mt. Pulaski, it is illegal for boys to hurl snowballs at trees. But there's no problem if girls want to.
  • Grapes are big business in the Land of Lincoln. The state has 105 wineries and produced 651,800 gallons of wine last year, the equivalent of about 3.2 million bottles.
  • Need a meal in a hurry? You've come to the right state. Illinois has more than 9,500 fast-food restaurants.
  • Although Illinois is known as the Land of Lincoln, Abe actually didn't move here until he was 21. Illinois' favorite son was born in Kentucky and spent his younger years in Indiana, arriving in here in 1830.
  • When all is said and done, we believe in love. In 2011, the most recent data available, Illinois had more than twice as many marriages —73,341, as divorces and annulments — 33,789. 
  • The tallest man in the world was born in the Southern Illinois community of Alton in 1918. Robert Wadlow was 8 feet, 11.1 inches tall when last measured at age 22, according to Guinness World Records. He wore a size 37AA shoe, a size 25 ring, and consumed a peak of 8,000 calories daily. 
  • The geographic center of Illinois is located in the Logan County community of Chestnut, a small town of about 250 between Lincoln and Decatur.
  • The mass production of penicillin owes a great deal of debt to a moldy cantaloupe purchased at a Peoria market in the 1940s. The strain of mold on the fruit allowed scientists to produce much larger quantities of the antibiotic than could be done in the past. 
  • The Chicago River has an unusual quirk: it flows backward. The city built a canal in the early 1900s to change the course of the river, sending pollution and sewage away from Lake Michigan, the city's water supply.

I hope you learned a few about Illinois today.

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