If you had a choice between going home with a brand new car or $10,000 in cash, which would you choose?
Someone will have to make that decision Thursday, Aug. 28, when The Lakeview Center plays host to the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce’s Reverse Car Raffle.
“The reverse raffle is my favorite Chamber event of the year,” said Kristie Myers, chairman of the chamber’s board of directors.
“There is such a sense of excitement and possibility. Someone walks out that evening at least $10,000 richer.”
Tickets are now on sale for the raffle, with the grand prize a 2008 Chevrolet Aveo 5 hatchback or $10,000 in cash.
With only 350 raffle tickets sold in what many believe to be one of the chamber’s most anticipated events of the year, the odds of winning are pretty substantial, according to last year’s grand prize-winner Michele Dublois.
Dublois may very well be the luckiest woman in Dawson County.
Not only did she and her family win the grand prize last year, she has been one of the final 10 remaining ticket holders for the past few years.
“I usually, between myself, my family and our employees (at Forrest Hills Resort), buy eight to 10 raffle tickets,” she said. “That’s probably why we always make it the final.”
Three years ago, when Kathy Fuller won the grand prize, both Dublois and her sister were in the group of final three ticket holders.
Fuller was overcome with emotion in 2005 when she won the grand prize.
“It’s a funny story. I always buy a ticket because I’m on the board of directors and to support the chamber, but I never thought I’d win. I never win anything,” she said.
As the chamber’s treasurer, Fuller is generally in charge of keeping score of those winning prizes throughout the event. “When I made it to the last 10, I told them someone else had to take over for me,” she said.
Fuller chose the $10,000 over the truck and said she paid bills with her winnings.
“I’m an accountant. That’s what I do. I wish I had a more exciting story to tell, but I have fun all the time. That’s why I had to spend my winnings on paying the bills,” she said.
If Dublois is one of the luckiest women in the county, then the luckiest man in the county would go to David Johnson, who won the grand prize in 2003.
“That was the fourth vehicle I’d won in drawings,” said Johnson, who eventually donated his winnings to Southern Catholic College.
Luck most definitely plays a big part in going home a winner, said EB Hamby, who won the grand prize in 2006.
“My friend Debbie and I got the ticket together, and we both held tight to it all night. When we went on the stage in the finals, we both held on to that ticket. I kept saying all night that Debbie was going to win,” Hamby said.
The two friends chose the truck as their grand prize that night and later sold it for $14,000.
“We’re definitely going to be at the party again this year. It’s so much fun for everybody,” Hamby said.
Tickets, at $100 each, are available at the chamber office and through chamber board members. One ticket admits two guests to the ticket party, which begins at 7 p.m.
In addition to the car raffle, ticket holders are also eligible for door prizes donated by local businesses. Every 25th ticket drawn wins a prize valued at least at $100.
“We have great door prizes throughout the evening, so there are plenty of opportunities to walk out a winner. If you have never been to a chamber event before but have wanted to, this is the event for you,” Myers said.
Of course, if you hope to win, you might want to keep Dublois from attending the event.
“I plan to win again this year,” she said.
For more information or to purchase a raffle ticket, call the chamber at (706) 265-6278.
E-mail Michele Hester at email@example.com.