Second Rocanville Lucky Lottery under way

May 8, 2023, 9:14 am
Sierra D’Souza Butts - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Volunteers working the phones during the final push for ticket sales at the end of the Rocanville’s Lucky Lottery in fall 2022

Rocanville’s Lucky Lottery has officially started. People can buy tickets for the Lucky Lottery draw which consists of a grand prize for $100,000, and an early bird draw for $10,000.

A 50/50 is being held along with the Lucky Lottery. The draw date for both fundraisers will be happening on October 14, at the Rocanville Nutrien Community Hall.

The Lucky Lottery is Rocanville’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

“Before expenses, we’re hoping to bring in $250,000, and by the time you take off your expenses I think we’ll be around under the $100,000 range,” said Kirby Fowler, Chair of the Lucky Lottery committee.

“We also have the 50/50 draw. The fundraiser is for all facilities in Rocanville.

“It’s not just for the pool, the pool will probably end up getting the lion’s share, but the rink needs some work this year too.

“The way the lottery license is structured we can give donations to a certain value to other recreation facilities as well.”

Last year, Rocanville’s Lucky Lottery brought in $86,000 to help support all of the town’s recreation facilities.

Of that $86,000, the pool received $60,308, the rec centre received $8,564, the skating rink received $8,564, and the golf course received $8,564.

“We wanted to do it again this year because we saw how positive it was last year,” Fowler said

“But, last year was not the first year of the lottery. They ran it for many years when we were trying to get the new rink in town and once the rink was there, it sort of just dropped off. No one was doing it, so we resurrected it last year.

“We see the benefit of the Lucky Lottery. With the population and the facilities that we do have in town, there’s definitely a need to continue to support and generate funds for them, so that’s why we picked it up.

“The pool was our main focus last year, but the fundraiser is happening with the idea that we’ll be supporting all of the community’s recreation.”

What’s different for this year’s big draw?
Fowler said the committee learned a lot from last year’s Lucky Lottery draws, and plan to organize it differently moving forward.

“This year we are making the draw for the grand prize at a cabaret,” said Fowler.

“We are having a closing cabaret where one of the groups in town, we’re not sure who yet, will be hosting it to raise money for their committee, and we’ll be making the draw there, which should generate a bit of excitement.

“As well, we are doing an early bird draw. Rather than a bunch of small prizes there will be a $10,000 early bird draw instead.

“Selling out by the early bird draw is very possible because we were only about 220 tickets shy of selling out last year. Everyone told us that was amazing because from the previous years, in their first year, I thin they barely made money and it got better after that, but we were very close to a sell-out last year.

“The 50/50 wasn’t quite a sell-out, but it was close as well.”

Starting the Lucky Lottery earlier this year than last year, the committee said they hope to sell out.

“We’re pushing for it, that’s our hope,” said Fowler.

“We learned a lot last year about how to promote it better and how to drive sales. We do have a phone blitz with the radio station which generates a huge amount of ticket sales.

“That is scheduled for the early bird draw which is for September. We’re hoping to be sold out by then, and if not, then we may do another radio blast near the draw date before October.”

Fowler was asked what how they plan to promote the Lucky Lottery this year.

“We’ll have our radio blitz in September which is huge for drawing in people. As well we have posters, there will be door-to-door sales as well,” he said.

“There will be tickets available at various local businesses. We delivered tickets for quite an area around (last year), and we were getting ticket sales from way north of Saskatoon right down to the U.S border.”

He said the most successful form of promoting the fundraiser last year was through the radio.

“By far it was the radio,” Fowler said. “We were getting calls from farmers in their combines, we would get told to hang on for a minute because they had to unload the combine. There was a lot of action going on there.”

Having a longer window to promote the Lucky Lottery will give more time to sell tickets for the fundraiser, he said.

“We were better prepared at the start. It was really done in a hurry last year,” said Fowler.

“But, SLGA also had some rule changes around our licensing which we had to get in order. We took a lot of effort to get our licensing in place and be ready for their specifications.

“There’s a bit of a restructure and preparation that we had to do that way, now we’ve got a designated board.

“I’m the chair of the board, we’ve got our other members. Now that we’ve seen areas of potential cost savings of our expenses, we know what to do this year.

“It will shock a lot of people how much it costs to run a lottery. It’s not just print some tickets and start selling.”

Despite the high costs for organizing the fundraiser, Fowler said the committee saw a need for it to help support the recreation services in Rocanville.

“There is a need again for a big fundraiser like this,” he said.

“Like I said, the pool is underway, but there’s still a third of funding that we can generate for that, as well as for our other facilities that are in need of some TLC.

“That’s one of the harder things we’re going to have to try and figure out now, is how we divvy this up fairly over time as well because this isn’t just for one thing, it’s for the entire community.”

People can start buying tickets
People can purchase tickets for the Lucky Lottery and 50/50 on the committee’s website: which should be up this week.

Tickets can also be purchased at the Recreation Office in Rocanville, the town office, or by contacting any Rocanville Lucky Lottery board member.

The draw date will be held at the Nutrien Rocanville Community Hall at 10 p.m.