World record $14.3-million Oilers 50/50 draw anticipated early to mid-next week

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“Many charitable organizations in our community have been hit hard by the pandemic, fundraising has taken huge hit. Those dollars we’re raising throughout our online raffle is really going to be a huge boost, not only to the Edmonton community, but the northern Alberta community,” she said in an interview with Postmedia Friday morning. “What we demonstrated is that people love 50/50 and we knew that in Edmonton, but the response has been overwhelming and at the end of the day when people can participate and have dollars go to charity, I think that’s what’s so important.”

This past week was spent verifying refund requests after residents had several days to ask that any purchases be voided in light of the technical issues. Ascend Fundraising Solutions, the technology service provider, has since processed the refunds and voided associated tickets. Company CEO Daniel Lewis said the final steps are to audit that process to ensure customers receive the refunds and then allow AGLC to review everything before the winning number is drawn.

Lewis said this record-setting raffle, which has an increased capacity of two-and-a-half times the previous online Oilers draws, has proven what is possible in the world of online charitable gaming; Ascend will prepare for more record-setting draws to come.

“This was a very strong positive in a couple of ways, one is the art of the possible,” he said. “Now we need to be ready for $15-million draws because that’s what people in northern Alberta are thinking about.”

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