Melville Millionaires Lottery
Wednesday, 20 February 2008 12:38 |
Greg Harder, The Leader-Post
The Melville Millionaires are hoping to hit the lottery jackpot.
The Western Major Baseball League team is banking its future on a farm and leisure lottery designed to raise funds for the club. A sellout in the lottery would generate about $110,000 for the team, which has a minimum annual budget of around $125,000.
"It's kind of a David and Goliath scenario," explained team president Garnet Keller. "We've got Melville, population 4,500, and we're playing in a league where everyone is at least two times bigger than us and some as large as a million people. For us to generate enough money, we have to come up with a larger lottery than we've ever held before."
The WMBL also includes teams in Yorkton, Weyburn, Regina, Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Swift Current, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Okotoks and Sherwood Park.
Melville is the smallest market in the league.
"(The team) provides a lot of entertainment for the fans and when we're on the road every time we play there's always publicity for our community," he said. "You can't buy that kind of thing."
Keller said the revenue from the lottery won't just help solidify the financial standing of the franchise, it'll also assist the team on the field. For example, the additional funds could be the difference in allowing the Millionaires to bring in an extra pitcher for the playoff drive to help put them over the top.
"It's kind of (like the) Saskatchewan Roughriders," continued Keller. "We're playing in a big league but we just don't have the people to do it (alone). We've been able to compete in the league but the costs just continually go up: Travel, meals, accommodations, equipment, everything. Melville has always been such a good sports town but we're fighting the odds all the time because we're small. We're asking our community and the whole province to help us out by purchasing some lottery tickets."
Keller stopped short of calling the lottery a 'do or die' proposition, but he did say it's necessary for the short- and long-term viability of the franchise.
"The word I would use is it's crucial," he said. "If we don't sell right out this year, we'll build on it and hopefully next year we can sell out."
The total cash and prizes for the lottery are valued at over $195,000. First prize is a choice of $100,000 in cash or one of four packages (two are farm related, one is material for a cottage and the other is a package comprising two vehicles, a boat and two ATVs). The value of each prize package is $115,000 and up.
Tickets are $100 each or three for $250. Only 3,500 will be sold.
There's an early bird draw on April 6 (30 draws of $500 each), followed by the main draw on May 4.
The deadline for purchasing tickets is May 2. You can buy them by calling 1-877-946-6457
Download the complete brochure: <a href="/final_flyer.pdf">download here</a>.