Edmonton Eskimos fan wins record raffle jackpot

Cesar Tordesillas – 4E Sports Contributor

Edmonton, AB, Canada (4E Sports) – Edmonton Eskimos fan Connor Croken won U.S. $322,216 in the team’s 50-50 sports raffle Friday.

One of the largest in sports history, the amount was half the $644,432 raised by fans, with the other half going toward funding amateur football in Alberta.

The pot rose to record numbers after a jackpot of $66,812 for the team’s July 11 game went unclaimed and was rolled over.

Then a crowd of 40,066 showed up to support the Eskimos against their similarly undefeated CFL rival, the Calgary Stampeders

By the time the raffle ended 10 minutes after the third quarter began, hundreds of people were still in line to get into the raffle.

“We think we could have reached a prize of $500,000, but we’re a football team, not a lottery team,” said Len Rhodes, the team’s CEO and president.

The prize, which is tax-free per Canadian law, was more than double the team’s previous record 50-50 raffle payout of $119,105 on Aug. 24, 2013. The average winner at Eskimos games last season received $63,182.

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