The Moosomin Kinsmen Club’s Lotto 365 has put more than $550,000 into the community over the last 13 years, and organizers are hoping for another success with this year’s Lotto 365.
Four local organizations will benefit from the lottery this year—the Southeast Integrated Care Centre, Playfair Day Care, Pipestone Hills Golf Club and the Moosomin Curling Club.
At the Care Centre, the funds will go toward a new outdoor pavilion planned for the long-term care wing. At the daycare, the funds will go toward completing an outdoor space and doing some interior renovations. Some of the funds will be earmarked for improvements at both the curling club and the golf club.
If the lottery sells out, as it has almost every year, there should be $45,000 to help those local projects.
For the last three years, a 50/50 component has been added to the lottery. Proceeds of the 50/50 draw will go toward the Kinsmen diamond at Bradley Park. The Kinsmen have been working on the diamond over the last couple of years. The work should be finished next summer with the installation of lights.
Lotto 365 tickets are $100 each, and the grand prize winner will receive $1,000 a week for a year. When buying a Lotto 365 ticket, the purchaser has the option of buying a 50/50 ticket for $20 as well. If all of the 50/50 tickets were sold, the 50/50 winner would receive $13,000.
Ryan Thorn of the Moosomin Kinsmen Club said the annual lottery always gets strong support from the community.
“A lot of people buy the lotto ticket knowing we are doing something for the community, and they buy the ticket to help out more than anything else,” he said. “Some people buy the tickets every year like clockwork. Some of them start asking me in August or September when we’re going to start selling tickets.”
Thorn says that having loyal supporters who buy tickets every year makes it much easier for the organizers, as they can count on a base level of support each year.
“Knowing that there are those people who have supported us every year, and will support us again this year, makes our job a lot easier, but there is a lot of work behind the scenes that has to be done every year,” he said.
“After this many years of doing it, it’s still a big job, but it’s a lot easier because we’ve done it so many times.”
Thorn says he thinks of Lotto 365 as a project that involves the entire community. “It obviously is very important to people in
he community and people who have some connection to Moosomin. I have people who lived here years ago asking me about it.”
Lotto 365 started more than a decade ago with the idea of allowing the winner to live free for a year.
The main prize consists of $1,000 a week for 52 weeks—enough to cover most people’s bills for the year.
The lottery ran almost unchanged for the first 10 years until the 50/50 draw was added three years ago.
The winner of the 50/50 draw takes half of what goes into the 50/50 pot, and the rest goes to the community.
Funds from Lotto 365 have supported many different community projects over the years, from health care to recreation.
A lot of support has gone to the Southeast Integrated Care Centre over the years. Three years ago, the main portion of the proceeds went to purchase a portable ultrasound machine for the emergency department at the SEICC.
Two years ago, $30,000 went to extensive renovations at Moosomin’s swimming pool.
Last year, $30,000 went to the Moosomin Fire Department for new breathing apparatus.
Thorn says the lottery has been a successful fundraiser for the Kinsmen over the years.
“I understand it was a lot of leg work in the beginning, but it was almost an instant success,” Thorn says.
“People are just happy to support it because they know the money stays local, they know we will do the best things we can with the money for the community.”
Many of the tickets are sold locally, although some have been sold to people from as far away as B.C.
Thorn says the lottery is also a fun project because of the community support.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “People start asking when you’re doing lotto in August or September. It’s fun to phone the winners and tell them that they’ve won, and it’s fun to give the money back and see things improve. We love doing it.
“It can get a little stressful toward the end, but when you sell out it’s a great feeling, and we’ve sold out every year but two.”
Some non-Kinsmen members help out with the annual lotto. “People help us out because they believe in it,” says Thorn.
“It’s more like a Moosomin project than a Kinsmen project.”