Thursday marked the official launch of this year’s STARS Lottery in Alberta.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, this year’s lottery offers 3,034 prizes valued at $4.7 million, in addition to the Lucky STARS 50 / 50 draw which could see one lucky ticket buyer win up to $1.75 million.
The annual lottery helps fund the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society's hundreds of life-saving missions each year, with about five emergency calls attended throughout the province every day.
Mike Lamacchia is STARS VP of Operations for Alberta / Saskatchewan and describes the lottery as their single-largest fundraising initiative.
“It raises significant dollars for us to keep operations here running in Alberta,” says Lamacchia. “The net proceeds of the lottery, about $11 million, will fund an entire base for one year, which is really significant for us.”
He adds the Red Deer base is actually the number one referral site for STARS in Alberta.
“We flew about 75 missions last year to Red Deer,” explains Lamacchia. “Red Deer is unique. It will support the city from either Edmonton or Calgary but it is our number one site where we go to here in Alberta.”
This year’s STARS lottery is off to a good start as well according to Lamacchia. He says it’s already 50 per cent sold out, while the 50/50 is 60 per cent sold.
“If all sells well, $1.75 million is your share of the 50/50,” says Lamacchia. “It’s about $11 million is what we anticipate to have, ‘net’ to fund our operations.”
Melanie Sorsdahl and her 9-year-old son Jayden were in need of STARS in March of 2015 when Jayden suddenly took ill with what was thought to be flu-like symptoms at the time. It turns out Jayden’s sodium levels were way down, causing some of his body functions to shut down.
Sorsdahl says her son is the centre of her universe and because of STARS, he’s still here.
“I can always find a few dollars for STARS, no matter how tight it is,” vows Sorsdahl. “It means the world to many families, it’s not just my family that’s been affected.”
She adds there are pretty incredible people running STARS and they need all the help they can get.
“So whether you’ve been personally affected or not, I just really strongly suggest that you show these people how much they and their service mean to you and this community and support them.”
This year there are three grand prize show homes in Edmonton, Calgary and Lethbridge valued at $2.8 million, plus a $500,000 dream fund and $350,000 early bird prize. STARS officials say there are also four high-end vehicles or their cash values up grabs, ten vacation packages and two STARS flights for two winners. Those who purchase their STARS Lottery ticket before the February 28 cut-off date are eligible to win the early bird prize.
Lottery ticket prices are 1 for $25, 3 for $60, 6 for $100 and 18 for $250.
Lucky STARS 50 / 50 tickets are 1 for $10, 5 for $25 and 15 for $50.
Draw dates include the Loyalty Draw January 26, Early Bird Draw March 16, Lucky STARS 50 / 50 Draw April 9 and the Final Draw April 12.
For more information on STARS Lottery and its cut-off dates, visit starslotteryalberta.ca.
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