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Winning ticket for Oilers 50/50 delayed another week as team processes refunds


EDMONTON — Officials with the Edmonton Oilers say it could be another week before they draw a winning ticket for a record-setting 50/50 raffle.

The pot for the Aug. 7 online draw hit more than $15 million, but the providers' servers were overwhelmed with online requests to purchase tickets.

It led to slow loading times, geolocation errors and duplication of some orders.

All tickets remained valid, but the team gave fans who wanted to void their purchases until noon Thursday to make those requests before a final tally is determined and a winning ticket is drawn.

Tim Shipton, vice-president of communications for the Oilers Entertainment Group, says participants were given the option of keeping their tickets, keeping some of their tickets and receiving a partial refund, cancelling their tickets or requesting confirmation of their tickets.

He says they had more than 200,000 interactions with participants about those options and will now process the necessary refunds.

"We expect this process will take us into next week and we will be in a position to draw the winning number late next week," Shipton said in an email Friday.

"We thank all participants in the 50/50 raffle for their patience as we work through the issues caused by this unprecedented event."

The previous 50/50 record had been held by Toronto Raptors basketball fans when a raffle reached $2 million during the 2019 NBA Finals, the year the team won the championship.

The Oilers first broke that record on Aug. 5 with a $5.4-million draw, which had to close early when it reached its maximum allowable ticket sales.

Half of the pot raised from the Oilers raffles goes to the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation, which supports organizations focused on vulnerable populations in downtown Edmonton and youth sports throughout northern Alberta.

The Oilers were eliminated from the playoffs on Aug. 7, when the hockey team lost Game 4 of its best-of-five series against the Chicago Blackhawks.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 14, 2020

The Canadian Press