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Deadline for hospital lottery nears

About the only people hoping for a late winter flurry are the staff at the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation.

Since ticket sales for the the 2014 Lotto for Life lottery started in mid January, more than 3,700 of the 5,000 tickets available have been purchased.

Sales are on par with previous campaigns, said Brenda Rositano, hospital foundation corporate relations director.

But staff are really hoping for a full ticket sellout this year.

Sales usually top out at about 4,500.

It has been nearly 10 years since the foundation had a complete sellout, but foundation staff this year are hoping sales will hold steady until the Feb. 28 sale cutoff date and move all 5,000.

“Can you tell 10 of your friends to buy tickets?” Rositano said.

The Lotto for Life is the only Island-based hospital lottery that supports Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and is itself supported with prizes donated by local businesses.

There are 100 prizes in all, including a car, vacations and a $100,000 grand prize, but Rositano notes that Nanaimo’s lottery faces competition with the B.C. Children’s Hospital Lottery, which features multimillion-dollar homes and other high-value prizes and advertises provincewide.

Still, the chances of winning $100,000 in Lotto for Life are one in 5,000, which are pretty good odds, and tickets are $100 each.

This year’s Lotto for Life dropped the early bird draws, which has helped even out sales. In previous years, once the first early bird draw was made ticket sales would drop off sharply.

It also means all the prizes, big and little, are available on the big draw March 14.

“We’re really grateful to the people who have already bought a ticket – thank you – but we’re hoping for a mad flurry in the last two,” Rositano said.

For more information or to buy a Lotto for Life ticket, please call the ticket purchase line at 250-255-7640 or visit the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation website at www.nanaimohospitalfoundation.com.

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