EchoLotto: Saskatchewan’s Online 50/50 Ticket System
Years ago, Jared Donauer and Paul Burch wished they could buy 50/50 lottery tickets through their smartphones, instead of in-person at an event. As soon as this option became legal, they approached Jody Price at Prairie Advertising in Regina to help them create a platform for nonprofit and community organizations to sell their tickets online.
The EchoLotto system is an e-commerce platform that sells online 50/50 tickets. “There is no physical ticket, the entire raffle happens online,” says Burch.
He adds, “Running a traditional 50/50 raffle can take a lot of volunteer time. EchoLotto makes it easier for approved organizations to keep track of tickets and it allows smaller organizations to reach more people.”
The team has helped local charities see significant benefits. “The Queen City Pride was our first customer and they had a 400% increase in ticket sales in their second year. The Regina Cat Rescue saw a decrease in volunteer hours needed to operate from 240 hours to about 30 when they moved from paper to online,” smiles Burch.”
50/50 ticket raffles are popular in Western Canada. People will buy a ticket and the winner of the draw will get 50% of the amount raised and the organization hosting the draw gets the other 50%. It is a tried and true fundraising process that is regulated in the province by Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority.”
The EchoLotto platform has focused their product to work with Saskatchewan charities and nonprofits in order to fully adhere to the lottery regulations in the province. You need to be in Saskatchewan to participate in a raffle and the software can limit the purchases to specific areas like Saskatoon, Regina or Prince Albert, depending on the focus of the organization hosting the raffle and licensing requirements.”
People who want to learn more about hosting their own raffle can go to the EchoLotto website and find information about raffles being run by organizations across the province. Each organization has a unique website for people to buy their tickets. EchoLotto operates by taking a transaction fee and a percentage of sales. ”
The team intends to continue its success in Saskatchewan and hopes to be the main solution for online raffles in the province. “The main benefit of growing a tech company in Regina is that we are a charitable, community-focused province and people understand what we are trying to do. It’s a small enough province where you get to know your community, but large enough to have support for a growing company.”