Planning your lottery should begin as close to the start of the season as possible. Having it too late could mean less profit for your league or team.

First off, lotteries require licensing. You and your organizers should check with both the municipal and provincial departments for licensing rules.

For smaller communities, word of mouth might be enough to inform people. But you should also consider using the resources available to you already, such as league websites or tournament programs, to advertise your lottery.

Tickets can be priced to encourage multiple sales (i.e. buying one ticket for two dollars or two for three dollars). And be sure to keep track of your ticket sales to avoid disputes.

The type of lottery you choose should fit your community and your league.

Half-and-half lottery

The half-and-half lottery structure lets teams and leagues to keep half of the money generated from ticket sales, with the other half used as the lottery jackpot.

Draws can be held as frequently as you want. Having a number of draws will help motivate people selling the tickets, but it could also become a burden to organize. 

The Grand Falls Minor Hockey Association in Grand Falls, N.B., runs a half-and-half lottery each year to keep registration fees down. The town pools resources for the lottery along with nearby municipalities Saint-André and Drummond.

Parents and players from the area sell tickets in the community for $30 each. Half the money ($15) goes towards the draw, $10 goes to the minor hockey association and $5 is given to the ticket seller's team.

The league holds 15 draws each year. For example, in a year when 1,200 tickets are sold, every week there would be a draw of $1,200, for a total of $18,000 in possible winnings over the season.

The other $18,000 would stay within the organization - one-third would be divided between the teams that sold the tickets, and two-thirds would go to the league.

It's the main source of minor hockey fundraising in Grand Falls.

Mandatory fees lottery

You might want to consider this type of lottery if you're having difficulty attracting volunteers to your association. Many leagues ask parents to pay a fundraising fee at registration. Then they're handed lottery ticket books, and the money earned there forms the lottery prize and profit.

Parents are allowed to keep any money they get from ticket sales. If they sell all their tickets, they'll earn back the total fundraising fee.

The Manvers Minor Hockey Association is an example of a league that has instituted mandatory fees. Parents pay an extra $100 on top of their standard registration fee, and the league holds one major draw a year.