Nova Scotia

Bryony House lottery deadline passes; fails to meet sales goals

Despite being granted an extension to try to sell more tickets, the Bryony House Dare to Dream lottery has ended with far fewer tickets sold than hoped.

Organizers had hoped to sell 60,000 tickets for $1.2-million house

Bryony House executive director Laurie Ehler says the community has been very supportive of the lottery efforts. (CBC)

Despite being granted an extension to try to sell more tickets, the Bryony House Dare to Dream lottery has ended with far fewer tickets sold than hoped.

Organizers had hoped to sell 60,000 tickets by Thursday, but sales never seemed to take off. As of Wednesday, just over 22,000 tickets were sold.

Laurie Ehler, the executive director of Bryony House, said it will take a couple of days to get a complete count on the tickets sales. She expects all prizes — including the $1.2-million house — will be awarded.

"As far as I know, everything is a go," she said Friday.

"At this point we expect that, since it's been publicly announced on the Facebook site. But we won't be 100 per cent sure until we receive something in writing."

Lottery managers had asked the Alcohol and Gaming Division of Service Nova Scotia for an extension to sell more tickets. They were granted six weeks and the department also ordered the lottery to send notice of the extension to all ticket holders.

That notice also contained information on a lottery clause that stated if the lottery managers could not provide an unencumbered title to the prize home, a cash payout of $600,000 would be substituted.

Kris Martin had just built this dream house for her own family, but decided to use it as a prize in a home lottery. (CBC)

The lottery was an ambitious plan to help fund an expansion at Bryony House, one of Nova Scotia's largest women's shelters. The top prize is a luxury $1.2-million home in the suburb of Waverley. There are hundreds of other, smaller prizes.

Ehler said she isn't discouraged by the low ticket sales.

"Given it's the first year and it's really the first shot at doing this for ALPC, we're really happy with the work they've put into it," she said.

"They've been working a full year on this project and it's been a labour of love for them and a passion."

Tracy Barron, with Service Nova Scotia, said the lottery could still request a change to its licence to allow for the cash prize to be given out instead of the house, but so far it has not done that.

Ehler said she doesn't expect to do another house lottery fundraiser.

"Bryony House won't be doing this again. It was a fantastic project, there's a lot of things we've learned from it, but from a bigger scale of the organization it's a big project to undertake for such a small organization," she said.

The draw for all prizes is scheduled for the morning of Nov. 14.

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