Overwhelming response (above): the top prize with the most amount of raffle tickets sold was this skyblue cock budgerigar from Swiss breeder Daniel Lütolf. This bird sold an incredible 1,646 tickets and the winning ticket belonged to Susan Howes

FIVE TICKETS SHORT of 11,500 were sold in the multi-club online raffle dubbed a “Christmas Spectacular”, breaking all previous records.

Hosted on the Mid Essex BS Facebook page, the draw was broadcast on December 6 from the home of club promotional secretary Ricky Anderson. At the end of the broadcast, after all 30 prizes had been allocated to winners, Mr Anderson said: “11,495 for a club raffle is absolutely unbelievable. I’m stuck for words, it’s been fantastic.”

A donated Daniel Lütolf skyblue budgerigar accounted for more than 1,600 of the ticket sales, with Paul Stannard’s dominant pied split Texas clearbody coming second. Lucky raffle ticket holder Graham Davies won two of the prizes: three F.W. Whit­church breeding cages and a metal stock cage from AviFabs.

This year’s record ticket sales surpassed officials’ predictions by more than 4,000. Just 12 days before the draw, Mid Essex’s sponsorship secretary Graham Paine told C&AB that the ticket count was at 6,244, and that he “expected to reach the 7,000 mark”.

All 11 bird clubs involved (Mid Essex being the 12th) received the proceeds from their raffle prize contribution within 24 hours of the raffle closing. For example, City of Lincoln B&FBA pocketed £355, while £303 went to South Cheshire BS.

Mid Essex BS had announced it would cover the credit card fees in our December 2 issue (see “Letters”), while clubs that had slightly fewer ticket sales on their contributed prize benefitted from free delivery of their prize, “maximising the profit to those clubs,” Mr Paine said.

He added: “Last year we thought it was amazing with 6,834 raffle tickets sold. We didn’t think it could be bettered: how wrong we were!”

A full list of raffle winners can be found on the Mid Essex BS Facebook page.

What’s next for this innovative club?
RICKY Anderson explained: “Mid Essex BS can most certainly handle expanding the multi-club bird and equipment raffle. Those involved have briefly discussed inviting non-budgerigar clubs to be included for 2021. It is something that we are keen to explore.”
Commenting on the success of this year’s raffle, he said: “It just proves what is possible with some forward thinking and dedication. If we extend to other clubs, Mid Essex BS will continue as the host club.”

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