Realtor, friends to split $507K from Canucks 50/50 jackpot
Published Friday, April 6, 2018 4:02PM PDT
Last Updated Friday, April 6, 2018 7:18PM PDT
A realtor said he and his friends are thrilled after learning they'd purchased the winning 50/50 ticket at the Vancouver Canucks' final home game of the season.
Derek Kai and two others will be splitting the record-setting prize of $507,278 they won in Thursday night's draw.
The Vancouver realtor told CTV News he and a group of friends, family and co-workers purchased about $650 worth of tickets at the game, which was also Daniel and Henrik Sedin's last time on home ice.
Kai said he had a system: He took photos of the receipts with ticket numbers and sent them to each of the groups of buyers so everyone knew which tickets were theirs. The winning ticket was one of a batch purchased by Kai and two friends, who will each get about $169,000.
"We are all of course thrilled and will be meeting this weekend to discuss our plans!" Kai said in an email to CTV News.
Kai said he's a long-time season ticket holder and always takes part in the 50/50 draws.
The other half of the $1,014,555 jackpot will go to Canucks for Kids, a fund run by the team that supports B.C. children's charities. The team said $400,000 of pot was seeded with funds unclaimed by previous winners.
"The last game of our season's typically a fan appreciation night. Well before the Sedins had made their decision, we decided to take all the unclaimed prize money this year and put it in to our final pot this year," said Jeff Stipec, CEO for Canucks Sports and Entertainment.
But fans in attendance Thursday night also stepped up, he told CTV.
"The lineups were longer to buy 50/50 tickets than they were to buy beer last night. It was neat to see the support."
Stipec said he thinks fans knew it would be the largest jackpot in the City of Vancouver – nearly four times more than the previous record – but the team is now trying to find out if cracking the $1 million mark has ever been done before.
"We think it's a record in North America," he said.
And fans weren't the only ones with their eyes on the $1-million prize. Henrik Sedin joked with reporters after the game that he'd bought a ticket.
"My number ended with -8265," the outgoing Canucks captain said, laughing.
The winning ticket, which actually ended with -8629, was claimed Thursday night, and the organization spoke with Kai Friday morning.
"I can tell you he's been a big supporter of 50/50 for years, which is great for the Canucks for Kids fund. He's been a season tickets member for years. He comes to the games and enjoys the games with a group of friends," Stipec said.
"It's a great story."
He called the results of the giant jackpot a "windfall" for the charities Canucks for Kids supports, saying it's something everyone should feel good about. Stipec also thanked the volunteers for their work managing ticket sales Thursday night.
"To see how hard they worked last night, from the moment the doors opened at 5:30 p.m. all the way to the end of the second intermission, it was incredible. Those are the people that don't really get recognized and mentioned, but I'd like to say thanks to them."
Stipec also recognized the Sedins, who will officially retire following Saturday's game against the Oilers in Edmonton.
"We knew last night was going to be extra special. Everything came together as if it was scripted from beginning to end," he said.
"Fairytales seem to happen to good people, and the Sedins are certainly good people. It's very fitting. They've been great to this community and to this organization for 18 years and I think it's so special. The people that were here, this is one of those moments where they're going to say 'Hey, I was there when…' and last night was one of those nights."
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Julie Nolin and Christina Heydanus