At a home game back in November 2017, Chris Vollmer went through his normal routine when he attends Ducks games at Honda Center. He spotted someone wearing an unmistakable bright blue shirt with "50/50 Raffle" across the front and put some money down. At the very least, his money goes back to the Anaheim Ducks Foundation. At best, he (or whoever the lucky winner is) takes home half the winnings.
It was like any other game night for Vollmer, until he saw the winning numbers. He couldn't believe his eyes. "To tell you the truth, that's the first time in my life I've ever won anything," the spry 75-year-old resident of Lake Forest said. "I was doing it every game. Just a chance to contribute and a possibility of winning. You can't win if you're not in."
That night, Vollmer, donning a black Ducks cap and home jersey, posed with the oversized check to showcase his winnings. The pot was $6,277.50, but he didn't take all of it home. Instead, he donated $2,500 back to the Anaheim Ducks Foundation. "I wanted to contribute to a good cause," he said. "At the time, I was working and I could afford to do it."
Unfortunately, Vollmer had a stroke in 2018 and couldn't attend as many games as he hoped that year. This season, however, he decided to purchase a mini plan. "I thought there was a chance I might not be able to go to games because of the stroke," he said. "I decided to try a mini plan to make sure I could do that first. It seems to be working well."
So on the night of Feb. 11, when the Ducks were set to host the St. Louis Blues, Vollmer continued his game-day tradition of buying a 50/50 raffle ticket. But with 7:50 remaining in the first period of that game, Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester suffered a cardiac episode and collapsed on the bench after completing his shift. Though the game was postponed (to March 11), the winning numbers from that night were drawn. When Vollmer came back for the following home game, he was flagged down by the woman who sold him his ticket.
"I didn't even think they drew the numbers out," he said. "The seller came up to us and asked if we still had our raffle tickets from that night, which we did. She told us she sold the winning number. I was surprised they had a drawing because the game didn't go past the first period. Lo and behold, I had it."
Since the 50/50 raffle was introduced at Ducks home games in 2016-17, only Vollmer holds the distinction of being a two-time winner. Does he think he can win it a third time? "Sure! Why not?" he said with a laugh. "So far, I might be a little more ahead of the game. We'll see how that works."
To date, more than $3.4 million has been raised with upwards of $1.7 million going towards the Anaheim Ducks Foundation.
If you'd like to purchase a 50/50 raffle ticket at an upcoming Ducks game, find the uniformed sellers wearing the bright blue shirts that say "50/50 Raffle". Tickets are sold in increments of: 3 for $5, 10 for $10 or 60 for $20. Raffle ticket sales will begin when doors open and conclude at the end of the 2nd intermission.
The winning ticket will be announced during the 3rd period. The winning ticket holder can claim his/her prize at the 50/50 raffle counter at section 212 prior to the end of the game. Should the prize be claimed after the day of the game, the winner must contact the Anaheim Ducks Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.