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Ticket sales not going as organizers would like

The Great River Raffle may end up in the drink if organizers can’t get enough tickets sold.

Not raising $200,000 could keep Ironton and anywhere else from participating in an innovative way to raise funds for the city and county.

That translates to 2,000 tickets that must be sold for the Great River Raffle in order for the event that’s offering cars, ATVs, vacations, and cash including $50,000 and $25,000 top prizes actually to happen.

To get those tickets sold Jon Ferguson, raffle committee member, came to the Lawrence County Commission’s Thursday meeting asking for help from the officeholders.

“There has got to be a way with the amount of contacts elected officials have,” Ferguson said.

Only 10,000 tickets will be sold to make sure the odds stay at 1 out of 88 chances for each ticket that costs $100. Prizes will be given out non-stop every five minutes for seven hours on June 27. Winning tickets will be put back into the drawing so ticket holders can get additional prizes.

If all 10,000 are sold, it would mean $100,000 of the $1 million raised would go back into the community. But for the raffle to happen it has to hit its break-even point; 5,500 tickets must be sold. So far 3,500 have been purchased or one-tenth of the money needed to meet that top goal.

“We knew coming in everybody was going to jump on it at the end,” he said. “We hoped to get a lot of tickets sold in the front. If we can break even, we will be thrilled.”

If the raffle doesn’t, those who bought tickets will have their money refunded.

All prizes, including vehicles, are being purchased by the raffle committee locally.

“The event helps the local community,” Ferguson said. “We are not asking for prizes. The purchases are in the community. We are raising money and injecting money.”

Commission president Les Boggs invited all officeholders to the meeting.

“(We’d like) all the elected officials to get behind this and push it,” Ferguson said. “I am open to ideas. We want this event to have meaning to everybody.”

The raffle committee wants to set up a database with the goal of selling tickets across the country.

“I will be happy to sell tickets,” Boggs said, asking that Ferguson send some to the commission office in the courthouse.

Tickets can be purchased on the Internet for an additional $5 fee or for $100 at Peddler’s, Worth a Stop and Pack Horse.

“Everything needs to stay local,” Ferguson said.