Despite not quite generating the amount of profit hoped for, the Merritt Centennials’ inaugural $50,000 cash raffle prize contest is still being declared an unqualified success by team representatives.

“Our intent was to raise $40,000 to $45,000 dollars for the club,” Centennials director of hockey operations Brian Barrett said. “We certainly didn’t make anywhere near that, but we still figure it was a very worthwhile thing. It’s going to help keep junior hockey here in the community. We’re very grateful for the support that the people of Merritt showed.”

Barrett said that the exact amount of money the hockey team made from this year’s cash raffle is still being calculated, but he estimated it is going to be between $15,000 and $17,000 when all is said and done.

“We probably got to the break even point with about a month to go, so we were pretty confident that everything would work out well,” Barrett said.

The four-month raffle ran from September to December, with the grand prize draw taking place at the Cents’ December 13 home game against Salmon Arm. Five additional early bird draws for $1,000 each time were held in advance of the grand prize draw.

Barrett said the cash raffle could never have taken place without the help of the Cents Booster Club and their gaming licence.

Consideration is being given to having next year’s cash raffle span Christmas so that tickets can be sold as gifts and stocking stuffers.

$50,000 grand prize winners: Randy and Vicki Martin

$1,000 early bird winners: Bill Pierce, Jim Rosevear, Mike Etchart, Allan Chabot, Emcon office staff