February 29, 2016 1:55 pm
Updated: February 29, 2016 8:18 pm

STARS’ Alberta Lottery in danger of not selling out for 1st time in 23 years

WATCH ABOVE: The STARS Home Lottery may not sell out for the first time in 23 years. STARS blames the economy. Tony Tighe looks at how STARS and the Foothills Hospital Home Lottery are dealing with a drop in charitable fund raising.


STARS Alberta says the province’s “stormy economic climate” has led to slumping ticket sales in its annual charitable home lottery. The organization is worried if sales don’t pick up soon it may be in danger of not selling out for the first time in its 23-year history.

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With a little less than one month left to go in the lottery, STARS has sold about 80 per cent of its tickets as of Monday. The organization is past the break-even point, but it’s cold comfort for the lottery because one third of its operating budget is funded by the lottery revenue.

“This is a really tough economic time,” Scott Young with STARS said. “We’ve been through tough economic times before but this one feels a little different.”

There has been a demand for smaller ticket packages, STARS said. In hopes of making the lottery more affordable for Albertans, some of the larger ticket packages have been modified into less expensive $25 and $60 sets.

READ MORE: Alberta’s economic downturn putting pressure on groups that help people in need

It’s not just ticket sales that are down. STARS said it has also seen a decline in individual, corporate and event fundraising over the past few months.

STARS operates out of three bases in Alberta. Last year, the Alberta Lottery brought in more than $11 million.

WATCH: STARS Air Ambulance plays a vital role in Alberta’s emergency services

The non-profit organization hopes Albertans can find a way to help out even during tough economic times.

“We recognize that this type of public appeal is unusual for STARS, but these are unusual times for everyone,” Robertson said.

STARS has been in operation since 1985. It flies about 1,800 missions every year.

With files from Fletcher Kent, Global News.

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