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Edmonton Journal article (Electronic 50/50 draw debuts at Rexall Place)

December 22 2011 at 7:50 AM
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Response to Vancouver Province article ('Impressive' IceDogs give up four players for championships)

Electronic 50/50 draw debuts at Rexall Place

By Nicki Thomas, Edmonton Journal

December 22, 2011

An electronic 50/50 raffle ticket system has been rolled out at Rexall Place in advance of the World Junior Hockey Championship.

The new system and new prices were tested at Tuesday's Oilers game, the first times fans could not pick up a ticket for a toonie.

Tickets are now one for $5, three for $10 and 10 for $20. The pot - previously capped at $30,000 - is now unlimited. Each purchase is recorded electronically, allowing a real-time tally of the pot to be displayed in the arena's concourse. On Tuesday, the winner took home $39,013.

The electronic system is already in place in other NHL cities, including Calgary, and was used at the 2010 World Juniors in Saskatchewan. At the New Year's Eve game that year, the total jackpot was about $180,000, said Amy Moat, events and services manager with the World Juniors.

At this year's tournament, money raised through the 50/50 raffle will go to Hockey Alberta.

The organization will put the money toward recruitment and development programs, including its Every Kid Every Community grant program, said general manger Rob Litwinski.

At Oilers games, money raised through the 50/50 raffle supports the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation, various charitable organizations and the minor hockey or ringette associations that volunteer to sell tickets.

Depending on how the new system is received during the World Juniors, the change may be a permanent one, said Natalie Minckler, the foundation's executive director.

"We're going to wait and see how it plays out. Certainly (Tuesday) night, the first indication was that people love it.

The bottom line is it's a fun way for our foundation to raise money. It al-lows us to meet the demand that's ongoing for funding requirements," she said.

© Copyright (c) The Edmonton Journal

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