KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Royals traditional 50/50 raffle is continuing this season online.
At every Royals home game, you see ticket sellers with their bright colored vests and their smiles asking fans if they want to buy a 50/50 raffle ticket. That is, every game until this season.
Last year, 50/50 raffle ticket sales raised more than $600,000 for Royals Charities.
This season, because no fans are allowed in the stands those sales will be strictly online. For the first time, fans in both Missouri and Kansas can participate.
“Our hope is that because that’s the only way that people can play and they are use to it and maybe they are sitting there thinking about what they used to do in the parking lot and then they see it on television, it will remind them enough that they will do pretty well,” said Toby Cook, Royals vice president of publicity.
And the first beneficiary is no coincidence. During the protests, the Royals engaged employees about what it’s like living in America as a Black man or woman.
“Those conversations were difficult, and they were enlightening, and it made us know that we wanted to do something real in the urban core,” Cook said.
The Urban Neighborhood Initiative will take home half of this weekend’s guaranteed $25,000 pot. They’ll use the money to rehab a Kansas City home and pay the buyers’ closing costs.
“We are rehabbing it to sell at an affordable cost is what we would say to try to help more people become homeowners and be in a position where they can build equity in their home and build their wealth,” said Dianne Cleaver, president and CEO of Urban Neighborhood Initiative.
The agency’s mission is to break the cycle of generational poverty that’s resulted from the historical racial inequities in 10 urban neighborhoods.
Tickets will be sold for each series. Sales for the first raffle with a guaranteed $25,000 pot continue through the 6th inning of Sunday’s game Aug. 2.