Edmonton Oilers fan cashes in massive 50/50 winning ticket as raffle fever takes off 

Playoff hockey fever is alive and well in Edmonton, but 50/50 raffle fever may be even stronger with nearly $2 million dollars won in the first two games.

‘I never thought in a million years we would win’   

Danielle McGale and her husband Brandon take in the Edmonton Oilers and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Rogers Place. The couple won last Saturday's 50/50 jackpot prize of $381,275. (Danielle McGale)

Before the puck dropped on the Edmonton Oilers' first playoff game of 2020 on Saturday, Oilers fan Danielle McGale was scrambling to get online to buy 50/50 tickets.

"I had a group of girlfriends, and we were all talking about it, we noticed the pot was jumping," said McGale, who managed to secure $50 worth of tickets before game time as her family hit the road for a vacation in Vernon, B.C. 

During the drive, they listened to the game on satellite radio and heard their hometown team lose. They continued to Vernon, but it was the next morning when McGale checked the 50/50 draw where things got interesting.

"I think I had to check and then re-check it about 50 times," McGale said. 

"It was just kind of like, 'what? I can't believe this is real.'"

McGale and her husband Brandon won half the massive $762,550 jackpot, taking home a cool $381,275. 

"It's really crazy, it honestly hasn't even sunk in yet," said McGale. 

"I never thought in a million years we would win."

The McGales even tested their luck further, buying more tickets for Monday night's record-breaking $3.2 million 50/50 jackpot, in Game 2 of Edmonton's qualifying round series. The unclaimed ticket to this draw is worth more than $1.6 million. 

The Alberta Gaming, Liquor Cannabis (AGLC) made this possible after recently allowing for greater fundraising flexibility with online sales of 50/50 tickets to adults within Alberta. 

"We're quite excited to play a role in it," said Dave Berry, vice president of regulatory services for AGLC. 

"For charitable organizations connected to sporting events such as this, I mean this is really their only opportunity to generate substantial revenue."

The response to the Oilers' online 50/50 draws has been very positive, said Oilers Entertainment Group spokesperson Tim Shipton So much so, that the massive response to Monday's draw bogged down the foundation's computer servers and steps are being taken to make sure anyone logging on to get a ticket moving forward will be able to do so. 

"The system was not perfect, definitely we received a lot of feedback from folks who were frustrated who could not access the system," Shipton said.

The big winner in all of this though are the many charities in and around Edmonton who will get a piece of the massive pots that have been collected this week.

"Everybody's feeling it, so these dollars are going to go to a very important place in our community," Shipton said.

The Oilers next game is 8:30 p.m. Wednesday night, your chance to get a ticket for the 50/50 raffle starts at 9 a.m.