(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

Central zone has 20 active cases of COVID-19

Province identified 143 new cases across Alberta on Wednesday

Province should set mask policy, says city councillor

Digital conference will raise issues of local concern

Education taxes, ambulance dispatch concern Red Deer city councillors at AUMA meeting

The digital convention will raise issues of local concern

High school’s student’s anti-racism video offers hope

Jose Jordan got dozens of high school students to participate

Trail closed near Red Deer water treatment plant until Nov. 1

Construction on intake in river continuing

Liberals vow wage-subsidy extension to 2021, revamp of EI system in throne speech

Canadian labour market was hammered by pandemic, when lockdowns in the spring led to a loss of 3 million jobs

Former Wales star Rob Howley returns to rugby with Canadian national team

Former Wales star Rob Howley returns to rugby with Canadian national team

Back to work: NBA’s non-Disney clubs start team workouts

Back to work: NBA’s non-Disney clubs start team workouts

“We refused to play,” Henry blasts team as Impact lose 3-1 to Revolution

“We refused to play,” Henry blasts team as Impact lose 3-1 to Revolution

4-nation Rugby Championship to be played as 6 doubleheaders

4-nation Rugby Championship to be played as 6 doubleheaders

For NBA players, Taylor grand jury decision ‘not enough’

For NBA players, Taylor grand jury decision ‘not enough’

Pozuelo scores on penalty in 90th, Toronto FC beats NYC 1-0

Pozuelo scores on penalty in 90th, Toronto FC beats NYC 1-0

Blue Jays dump Yankees 14-1 to inch closer to securing post-season berth

Blue Jays dump Yankees 14-1 to inch closer to securing post-season berth

Reactions to the minority Liberal government’s speech from the throne

Reactions to the minority Liberal government’s speech from the throne

Most Read