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'This is an important draw': Moncton food bank's 50/50 jackpot keeps growing

Someone in New Brunswick could be picking up a cheque for $175,000 or more in a 50/50 draw held in Moncton Wednesday.

The Food Depot Alimentaire's weekly 50/50 Gold Rush draw is expected to exceed $350,000, and the winner will be taking home half of that - tax free.

Gold Rush coordinator Donna Eagles said the draw has changed people’s lives over the past decade.

“It has been an amazing journey to be able to say, this particular project, the 50/50 Gold Rush draw, the amazing amount of people that it has helped over the last ten years. It is really inspirational,” said Eagles.

“It's not like winning a million, but it certainly does go a long way to giving your family a fresh financial start.”

Close to $9 million in winnings have been given out, but more importantly, that much has been raised to feed people in need.

“This is an important draw. It helps us feed families throughout the province,” said Eagles.

The food depot purchases and distributes over $16 million worth of food every year.

Thanks in part to the 50/50 draw, food is delivered to over 60 food banks, shelters and after school programs across the province.

It also helps those dealing with the soaring cost of groceries.

“We are seeing a growing number of, I hate using this term, but, the working poor. Those that have great jobs, but they just need a little bit of help each week or at the end of each month to be able to feed their families,” Eagles said.

Proceeds also go to a nutrition program for around 100 schools that ensures at-risk students get healthy meals every day.

“We’re providing breakfast to students with universally accessible programs,” said Carrie Delaney, the food depot’s provincial coordinator for programs and community engagement.

“Each school is seeing a rise in need just as we are with the food bank. A lot of children are participating in these programs,” Delaney said.

This isn't the largest pot of money the food bank’s 50/50 has given out, but Eagles said it's certainly in the top five.

A gold rush is a weekly draw where players play the same ticket number for life, but they must purchase tickets each week to win.

If there's no winner for Wednesday’s draw it will roll over into next Wednesday and that jackpot could be as much as $700,000.

That would definitely be a record. 

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