A Vancouver realtor and two of his friends are $507,278 richer today. And it’s not because he sold a million-dollar property.
Derek Kai and his friends won Thursday night’s massive 50/50 draw at the Canucks/Coyote game that marked the Sedin twins last game on home ice.
The total jackpot was $1,014,555. They collect half of it. The rest goes to the Canucks For Kids fund, which supports children's charities across B.C.
The Canucks media department believes it's the biggest 50/50 draw in North American history. The Canucks' previous record was $261,388 at the 2006/07 season opener. Thursday's pot was seeded with $400,000, which included six previously unclaimed 50/50 prizes. More than $100,000 worth of tickets were sold in the first 40 minutes of sales game night and it took about five and a half hours to count all the cash on site.
Kai, a longtime Canucks season ticket holder who always buys tickets for the 50/50 draw, told the Courier in an email that he was "super excited" about the win.
"Last night, lots of family/friends/coworkers were asking me to get tickets. In total, we had about $650 worth. The winning ticket was split with two other friends for about $169,000 each," he wrote in the email. "We are all, of course, thrilled and will be meeting this weekend to discuss our plans!"
Kai said the energy in the arena was "absolutely electric" and reminded him of playoff games.
"We couldn't have asked for a better sendoff for two of the Canucks' best players," he said, adding, "I was stunned and shaking when my girlfriend pointed out the winning number. [I] didn't know what to do so we stepped outside to the concourse. Obviously, it was very exciting but it took a bit for the shock to wear off."
They went home to regroup and let the win settle in before meeting friends for drinks.
"[We] will definitely be celebrating a bit more with family and friends at a later time!" he wrote.
Today’s winning 50/50 number is #BS-1088629. The jackpot is... wait for it... $1,014,555!!! with a take-home prize of $507,278!! 😱 Thank you to all who bought tix for our biggest jackpot ever! Must be 19+. #ThankYouSedins— Canucks For Kids (@Canucksforkids) April 6, 2018
Meanwhile, Alana Kuehn from Quesnel won the Canucks for Kids online 50/50 draw, which which earned her $38,860 — half of that $77,720 jackpot. It was also a record-making jackpot.