Friday's Oilers 50/50 jackpot could grow above $5.4M
EDMONTON -- Someone in Alberta is $2.7 million richer after the 50/50 draw at the Edmonton Oilers vs. Chicago Blackhawks game on Wednesday night, but the real winner is the charities who will benefit from the other 50 per cent of the pot, the team says.
The total for Wednesday's game reached $5.4 million; the Oilers' Community Foundation said it’s a record-setting number.
“They do this with lots of other professional sports teams across North America and they have indicated to us it is a world record,” said Natalie Minckler, executive director of the foundation.
The Oilers Community Foundation was established in 2001 as a way for the team to give back to the community. The 50/50 draws held during the games are the foundation’s biggest revenue source.
“We are so gratified to our fans right now who have stepped up like this,” said Janet Riopel, the foundation’s board chair.
“It’s really taken on a life of its own and people once they see that pot growing and the opportunity to win, I think they all sort of get caught up in the frenzy,” said Minckler.
The foundation is now working to decide where the money would best benefit the community.
“We’re looking at where we can make real difference and helping those that are in Edmonton’s downtown, and also working to create opportunities for youth, particularly in sports, and those are the areas that we’ll be focused on,” said Riopel.
And they could have even more money to invest after Friday’s game. The pot was capped at $5.4 million on Wednesday, but officials with the Oilers said they have increased online capacity by two and a half times.
“The expectation, although Oilers fans have proven they can shatter all expectations, that the server will have the capacity to handle the demand,” said Tim Shipton, senior vice president of the Oilers Entertainment Group.
Tickets for Friday’s draw go on sale at 9 a.m. on Friday on the Oilers website.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Amanda Anderson