(The Canadian Press)

‘Caught up in the frenzy:’ Oilers 50/50 draw breaking ticket sale records

Previous record was held by Toronto Raptors fans when a 50/50 raffle reached $2 million

Officials hope the frenzy over the Edmonton Oilers online 50/50 draw continues today as the hockey team’s community foundation holds another game-day raffle for its Alberta fans.

On Wednesday, the raffle “shattered an all-time record” and had to close early after it reached the server provider’s maximum allowable ticket sales.

Officials say the provider has increased capacity by 2 1/2 times for today’s draw.

“The expectation is — although Oilers fans have proven they can shatter all expectations — that the server will have the capacity to handle demand,” said Tim Shipton, senior vice-president of communications for the Oilers Entertainment Group.

The jackpot for Game 3 of the series on Wednesday grew to more than $5.4 million, with the lucky winner set to take home about $2.7 million. No winner has been announced.

Monday night’s raffle for Game 2 of the series beat the previous record for the largest sports raffle as the pot surpassed $3.2 million.

The previous record was held by Toronto Raptors fans when a 50/50 raffle reached $2 million during the 2019 NBA Finals, the year the team won the championship.

Natalie Minckler, executive director of the Oilers foundation, said its service provider for the online raffle has told them Wednesday’s $5.4-million draw was a world record.

She said she believes the 50/50 has captured the imaginations of Albertans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At a time when we all really need something positive and fun to talk about, to think about, to discuss with our family and friends, I think that has become that outlet,” said Minckler.

“I think it’s really taken on a life of its own. People, once they see that pot growing and the opportunity to win, I think they just get caught up in the frenzy.”

Shipton added that the excitement has even entered the bubble at Rogers Place.

“NHL players from around the league were fascinated and asking if they could buy tickets to the 50/50,” he said. “We had to remind them that as long as they are Alberta residents they could, but if not they were out of luck.”

Game 4 of the Oilers-Blackhawks series starts at 4:45 p.m. MT. The raffle opens at 9 a.m. and is set to run until 10:30 p.m.

Shipton said it’s an important game for the Oilers. The team won’t go on to the playoffs if it loses.

“We’re hoping that we’ll win both on and off the ice,” he said.

The other half of the funds raised from the raffles go to the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation, which supports organizations focused on vulnerable populations in downtown Edmonton and youth sports throughout northern Alberta.

Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

NHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Red Deer has nine active COVID-19 cases

Number of cases increased by 107 Friday

“My world exploded,” says Bentley-area farmer who’s swather was struck by a motorist

Dennis Duncan was a mile from home when his swather was struck by another travelling at high speeds

Man sentenced to 7 years for gas-and-dash death of Alberta gas station owner

Ki Yun Jo was killed after Mitchell Sydlowski sped off in a stolen cube van without paying for $198 of fuel

New owners of Sylvan Lake Canadian Tire looking to be big part of the community

Randy and Alison Patton are the new owners of Sylvan Lake Canadian Tire

Notley to stay on as Alberta NDP leader for 2023 provincial election

The NDP took almost all of Edmonton but few seats outside of the city

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C., Alberta sending nearly 300 fire personnel by Friday to help battle wildfires in Oregon

Some 230 firefighters, most from British Columbia but including a number from Alberta, will be deployed Friday

Death of mother grizzly a ‘big loss’ for bear population in Banff park: experts

The bear, known as No. 143, spent most of her time in the backcountry of Banff

U.S.-Canadian border closure reportedly could extend through November

The border between the two countries has been closed to non-essential travel since March 21

Threat of fall federal election eases as COVID-19 cases continue to rise

Congeniality emerged as fears of second wave of COVID-19 were heightened after another case increase

Intoxicated male arrested by Ponoka RCMP passes away after fall

Incident remains under investigation by ASIRT

Most Read