Jackie Smith

WinFall lottery loses $730,000

Losses in the Peace Arch Hospital and Community Health Foundation's WinFall Lottery were less than predicted.

The WinFall Lottery wound up losing money this year – but not as much as was earlier feared.

That’s the message from Peace Arch Hospital and Community Health Foundation executive director Jackie Smith, who said it now appears the lottery lost some $730,000, much less than predicted when the foundation went public with an appeal for ticket buyers.

“It’s not good, but it could have been a lot worse,” she said.

In a press conference one week before the Oct. 19 draw day, Smith revealed ticket sales were running at only 35 per cent, though she didn’t specify expected loss.

“At that point, we were looking at (a loss of) $2 million,” she said Friday.

Smith didn’t hesitate to praise ticket buyers, who rallied around the lottery following the announcement, for helping avert disaster.

“Our community, and our ticket buyers… showed yet again their willingness and commitment to investing in the hospital,” she said. “We doubled our tickets in the last week of sales – that’s unheard of.”

She said social networking was a huge factor in getting word out.

Smith said she wants to assure foundation donors their contributions will not be used to make up $730,000 loss.

“Our foundation is very fortunate that it can operate from ancillary revenues, such as the hospital parking lots.”

As a consequence, the loss will be much the same as a revenue shortfall on the balance sheet, she said.

“It will not impact our ability to make contributions to medical equipment, and donor dollars will (continue to) go to the areas specified,” Smith said.

“This is a time of year when people are most generous,” she noted. “They could be chasing a Dec. 31 tax deadline for contributions, or they could just be wanting to give back to the community.”

Smith said the lottery had been “an incredibly successful event” for the past 16 years, clearing $25 million in that time – well over $1 million per year.

A number of causes appear to have contributed to the decline in sales for the lottery this year, she said, with no single one the frontrunner – although the economy is undeniably a major factor.

It’s clear the foundation is not the only organization that found lotteries a less-than-solid bet in 2011 – the Royal Columbian Hospital lottery, for example, lost some $3 million earlier this year.

“The market is changing,” Smith said. “There’s more competition, the competition is different and the prizes are different.”

She said a task force has been struck from the foundation board to investigate the most profitable lottery models both nationally and internationally.

Smith said that while there may be another lottery in 2012 – citing its usefulness in raising awareness as well as funds – she doubted it would return in “exactly the same iteration.”

She acknowledged the foundation is only beginning to dig into the data gathered on buyers, in a quest to tailor a lottery to residents’ evolving needs.

‘We’re looking at who bought tickets, where they came from, what their motivation was,” she said.

“That could help tell us what the lottery looks like in future.”

 

Just Posted

South Surrey man and city settle beef over backyard cow

Asad Syed, who kept a calf on his property last year, met City of Surrey in court Tuesday

UPDATE: ‘Hold and secure’ at Elgin Park Secondary lifted

‘No evidence located to substantiate a threat,’ says Surrey RCMP

Surrey RCMP doesn’t expect big hit in light of projected $10M cut in B.C. budget

Public safety minister says RCMP informed province about projected budget deficit

Surrey’s Sourdif among A-list ‘Players to Watch’ for NHL Entry Draft in Monteal next June

The right-shot forward has eight goals and nine assists with Vancouver Giants this season

North Delta actor makes her debut in new Apple TV+ series ‘See’

In a dystopian future where humans can no longer see, society’s rocked by the birth of sighted twins

VIDEO: B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

UPDATE: Metro Vancouver bus drivers to refuse overtime as transit strike escalates

Overtime ban could disrupt 10-15 per cent of bus service in Metro Vancouver

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

Batten down the hatches: Wet and windy weekend on the way for coastal B.C.

Environment Canada issues special weather warning for Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

B.C. RCMP investigating stolen boots, credit cards, booze, and beauty products

Langley RCMP investigating property crimes, including credit card fraud in Surrey

Tolko shuts B.C. divisions for two weeks over holidays

Head office to close from Dec. 23-27; two weeks’ downtime runs Dec. 21-Jan. 6

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

Extreme career fair draws hundreds to Langley Events Centre

Black Press event included more than 60 employers

Most Read

l -->