One local person could win a $1 million prize this spring while benefiting more than 40 Clark County area schools and nonprofit groups through the annual American Dream Raffle.
Sales begin Tuesday.
The raffle has raised more than $1.13 million for districts and nonprofits and has given away more than $1.8 million in cash and prizes to more than 1,700 winners since it began 11 years ago, founder and chairman Pat Hearlihy said.
New this year: one person will have their ticket drawn to play a game of chance to win $1 million, in addition to drawings for a guaranteed $100,000 grand prize, $15,000 second prize and $2,500 third prize.
Last year’s raffle raised more than $124,000 in net proceeds among the groups, Hearlihy said. Each partner has a special discount code to track their sales, which ultimately determines their portion of the net proceeds.
New partner groups for 2013 are: Project Woman, Springfield Civic Theatre, A Special Wish Foundation in Dayton and Master Gardeners of Clark County.
“I had a meeting with all the groups (Tuesday night), and they love this opportunity,” Hearlihy said of groups pooling their resources to benefit the entire community. “I don’t know of any other fundraiser like this.”
Each group uses their proceeds differently. In the past, groups like VFW Post 9684 in Medway have donated to Honor Flight to transport veterans to monuments in Washington, D.C., and the Fraternal Order of Eagles Champion Aerie 397 in Springfield have purchased coats and shoes for needy school children, according to Hearlihy.
“I tell the groups going out to sell tickets to be specific on how they plan to use the money,” Hearlihy said.
The raffle appeals to two types of buyers, Hearlihy said, “the gamblers who like the one in 19 chance (with a gold-level ticket purchase) and the supporters who want to win, but if they don’t, they know it’s going to a good cause.”
The raffle also features $5,000 in cash prizes exclusively for past buyers. Anyone who purchases a ticket in 2013 and in any previous year is eligible.
Additionally, 20 early bird prizes of $500 will be awarded and more than 150 additional prizes ranging from $250 to $1,000 are planned.
Early bird drawings will be March 14 and April 11 with the grand prize drawing May 9. All will be held live on K99.1-FM.
Tickets are: Gold level – 10 chances for $129 (1 in 19 chance); Silver level – five chances for $99; Bronze level – two chances for $49. A 10 percent discount code is available online at www.americandreamraffle.com. Group ticket purchasing is permitted.
Tickets are available from any branch of the International Harvester Employee Credit Union during regular business hours, by phone at (800) 970-3121 or online at www.americandreamraffle.com.