The Moosomin Kinsmen Club’s Lotto 365 has put more than $600,000 into the community over the last 13 years, and organizers are hoping for another success with this year’s Lotto 365.
Proceeds from this year’s Lotto 365 will go to the Pipestone Hills Golf Course, the Moosomin Curling Club, to Play Fair Day Care for facility improvements, and to MacLeod Elementary School for upgraded playground equipment, helping make the playground accessible for people with special needs.
If the lottery sells out, as it has almost every year, there should be $45,000 to help those local projects.
For the last few 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.
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. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-855-963-8668.
The tickets were printed on Thursday and the Kinsmen started selling them on Friday.
“I sold the first one this morning,” said Ryan Thorn of the Moosomin Kinsmen Club on Friday. “The toll free number is up and working. We have a shorter window in which to sell the tickets this year, so we have to hit the ground running.”
He said a lot of effort goes into the annual lottery.
“There’s a lot of legwork, a lot of meetings, a lot of time at the curling club during the remote, a lot of volunteers busy selling tickets.”
Thorn has chaired the lottery for the last decade. “I have anxiety leading up to it, and excitement about it, and every year when you’re done you look back and it’s good to see that you have accomplished your goals and done some good for the community.”
With the lottery getting under way a little later this year, Thorn is hoping people help get ticket sales off to a strong start by buying tickets as stocking stuffers.
“Lots of people buy them for stocking stuffers, and what a great stocking stuffer if you end up winning $52,000,” he said.
Thorn said the 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.
“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.
“After this many years of doing it, it’s still a big job, but it’s a lot easier.”
Thorn says he thinks of Lotto 365 as a project that involves the entire community.
“It obviously is very important to people in the 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 was the idea of former Moosomin Kinsmen Club member Terry Barros.
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.
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 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.”