50:50 ten years on
February 5, 2008
[image1]This article was originally penned for publishing in the Cheltenham programme, the date of which would have been close to the ten year anniversary of the beginning of the 50:50 draw. It is reproduced here as originally written, although some of the figures will already be out of date!
50:50 matchday lottery tops £200,000
A decade of fantastic fundraising!
Amazingly, we have just reached the ten year anniversary of selling 50:50 draw tickets – and in the process raised well over £200,000!
It seems timely therefore to reflect on what has been a terrific effort on the part of all those concerned, not least of all you the fans who stump up your £1 for a ticket.
As no doubt you all know, half of the takings is paid out on the day to the lucky winner with the other half being banked in order to fund contributions to the football club’s expenditure on certain projects around the ground.
The first match to feature these tickets being sold was a second division fixture at The Memorial Stadium against Blackpool on 25th October 1997. A crowd of 6,183 saw a 0-3 defeat in a season that saw us make the promotion play-off final only to lose to Northampton over two legs. Out of this crowd, spectators bought 1,348 tickets with the inaugural winner being a John Massey who with ticket number 01924 won the prize of £674.
The 50:50 draw has, as far as I am aware, been carried out without exception at all first team home matches ever since and for that we can be thankful both to the loyal band of ticket sellers and also of course to you the fans. Over the years the tickets have also been sold at friendly matches, testimonials, the odd reserve game and even on the Supporters Club coaches to an away game at Blackpool in 1998!!
The prize is typically anywhere between £700 and £900 for a league match and for the better supported matches can be well over £1,000 – this season for the Leeds United game the winning ticket earned £1,120 – well worth a punt!
At the end of the 2006-07 season, after paying out the 50% portions to the winners, we had accumulated an amazing £230,000! In addition to this we earned a further £7,000 in sponsorship – many thanks to Keith’s School of Motoring for their continued support. After printing costs of around £13,000 cumulative funds amounted to around £224,000.
Contributions to the football club’s expenditure on the stadium over the years have included:
- £50,000 Bass Terrace roof
- £7,000 Pitch covers
- £25,000 Family enclosure roof
- £25,000 Floodlights
- £9,500 P.A. system
This leaves funds of around £100,000 going forward which are available, as required, for development of facilities for our members in the redeveloped stadium.
By the end of this season we will have passed the £1/4 million mark – a truly magnificent feat by anyone’s standards and surely unique in football in this country. Everyone who has contributed to this achievement should be extremely proud of themselves.
Finally, as you’re reading this article, I trust you are already in possession of your 50:50 draw ticket for tonight’s game – and best of luck!