With the deadline to buy tickets for the 2017 Red Deer Regional Health Foundation Hospitals’ Lottery now less than three weeks away, organizers are hoping for a good strong finish.
Sales are behind, with about 65 per cent of regular, and about 75 per cent of Mega Bucks 50 tickets sold for the annual lottery that provides funding for important equipment at the hospital. Alberta’s slower economy is likely part of the reason for the slower ticket sales.
People are buying tickets but they are spending less, Alaine Martin, events manager for the foundation, said Thursday. She added that all the money raised through the lottery stays in the community to directly benefit it.
The foundation staff and members of the community “put their heart and souls” into trying to make the lottery a success, she said.
Last year the Hospitals’ Lottery also ran into slower than usual sales during the economic slowdown that was additionally hampered by the Fort McMurray wildfire. They sold about 80 per cent of regular tickets.
Depending on ticket sales, funds raised from this year’s Hospitals’ Lottery will allow for the purchase of 25 to 30 advanced beds, which will replace basic aging hospital beds.
Red Deer Regional Hospital currently has nine therapeutic air-cushioned beds in the oncology and palliative wards to provide a higher level of comfort for patients and help reduce bed sores. The beds have an airflow just underneath the surface that helps to cool patients, and also preserve skin integrity.
The lottery’s early bird winners were announced this week. Sheila Gorcak from Veteran, Garry Potts from Sylvan Lake, and Donna and Darcy Carter from Red Deer each won $25,000.
The prizes for the 2017 lottery amount to $1.1 million. The main prize is a 3,494-square-feet dream home, at 105 Larratt Close, built by Sorento Custom Homes and valued at $839,900. Some of the other prizes include a Dodge Ram truck, Ford Mustang, Harley Davidson motorcycle, and a variety of furniture packages.
The cut-off for ticket sales is June 18, at 11 p.m. The final draw for the dream home and other prizes will be July 7.
Tickets can be purchased online at hospitalslottery.com, by phone at 1-877-808-9005; and at the dream home Wednesday to Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. until June 18. Tickets are $35 each, three for $75, five for $100, and 15 for $250.
The MegaBucks 50 Raffle has a current total jackpot of $379,165, which is split between the winner and the foundation. The winner could potentially take home $250,000. Tickets are one for $10, 10 for $25 and 25 for $50.