Nova Scotia

Bryony House lottery company seeking fee of under $250K

One of the two women who ran a lottery for Bryony House says their company, ALPC Housing Solutions, is seeking a payment of under $250,000. That's despite plenty of criticism of the management of the lottery from many people who bought the $100 tickets.

Directors defend lottery management and say they're entitled to be paid

Maria Sancho, a former client of Bryony House, was one of the women who thought of the idea to do a home lottery to fund an expansion at the shelter. (CBC)

One of the two women who ran a lottery for Bryony House says their company, ALPC Housing Solutions, is seeking a payment of under $250,000. 

That's despite plenty of criticism of the management of the lottery from many people who bought the $100 tickets.

Maria Sancho won't reveal the exact figure but she expects a management fee "very approximate to ten percent, but under ten percent."

Based on ticket sales that raised nearly $2.5 million, the fee works out to almost a quarter of a million dollars.

Sancho says she does not expect the bill to be quite that high, but the company is demanding payment from Bryony House, the charity that shelters battered women.

"Our payment will be requested no matter what. Nobody can give away their work and their life for a year."

'Nothing illegal was done'

The company's co-director, Kris Martin, used her five-bedroom home in Waverley in the lottery transactions.

She sold her home to Bryony House for $1,075,000. After the home was raffled off in November, Martin bought the house back from the lottery winners for $620,000, a difference of $455,000.

That's left some ticket holders saying they feel ripped off. Officials with the Alcohol and Gaming division are now looking into the lottery after a Dartmouth woman wrote a letter of complaint about the lottery management.

Kris Martin has not returned calls to CBC but on Facebook she defends herself saying:

"I took a huge risk to do this... I spent many sleepless nights not knowing if I was gonna lose my dream home and end up with zero. Nothing illegal was done and it was not a secret that [I] would purchase the house back from the winner.
I never once said I donated the house. I gave it up to help."

Eastern Passage project planned

As a former resident of Bryony House, Sancho says helping women get back on their feet is also her goal.

She says ALPC is planning to build 18 duplexes in Eastern Passage to assist low-income earners. That project is now stalled because ALPC hasn't been paid by Bryony House.

With tears in her eyes, Sancho describes the need for ALPC's project.

"You can go to a shelter and you can come out and feeling maybe a little better, but once you're out there you don't function. You cannot, we cannot all end up in social services. It's not right," she said.

That's not the only project on hold. Bryony House says its $700,000 expansion is stalled because the lottery failed to make a profit.

Bryony House says nearly 23,000 lottery tickets were sold. Revenue was also generated from a 50-50 draw.

Sancho says almost 24,000 tickets were bought.

Secondary prizes were advertised and Sancho says fees to other contractors were paid out, accounting for a lottery that Bryony House says barely broke even.

Another lottery suggested

Still Sancho says she's proud she and her partner were able to sell as many tickets as they did in their first lottery project. She claims another non-profit company has approached her to operate another lottery.

She declined to name the organization and says won't start another lottery until ALPC is paid.

Bryony House did not return calls to CBC.

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