There may not be fans in the stands at Winnipeg Jets home games this year, but COVID-19 isn’t stopping the team’s 50/50 draws.
The draws, which raise money for the True North Youth Foundation (TNYF), will be run online this season, starting with a pot sweetened with a $20,000 primer for Thursday’s season-opener against the Calgary Flames.
“With no fans in the building this is going to be a way for us to bring that in-game experience,” explained TNYF’s Dwayne Green.
“So if you liked to buy your ticket during the second intermission, you can still do that in that same process, except you’ll be doing it online.”
In a release, the team says it’s partnered with PlayNow.com for the draws, which will be held for both home and away games this season.
Tickets for each draw will be available to purchase from at 9:30 a.m. CT at WinnipegJets.com/5050 until the end of the third period each game day.
The winning ticket will be pulled roughly 30 minutes later, and the results will be posted at TNYF.ca/50-50 no later than an hour following the draw.
Tickets will only be sold to those who are in Manitoba at the time of purchase. Purchasers must be at least 18 years of age.
Tickets are available in four different packages, including three tickets for $10, 10 for $20, 50 for $50, or 100 chances to win for $80.
Green says while the foundation has had to pivot during the pandemic, all three programs have been able to continue operating despite COVID-19.
For example, he said Project 11, which works to bring mental health education to students, was able to train more than 1,000 new teachers throughout the pandemic.
“That was great because, as you can imagine, when the pandemic hit and everything changed for the youth across Manitoba,” he said, “there were lots of mental-wellness concerns, and this gave them the tools to help with that.”
Green says he hopes running the 50/50 draw will be able to bring a little of the excitement of being at games to fans watching from home.
“If we can bring a little bit of that to the fans watching, then we’ve done part of our job while they’re able to help youth across our province,” he said.
“We’re really excited to be able to offer this during the season.”