4-Hers not faring well in sale of raffle tickets

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— The odds of winning Colorado's new Powerball Lottery Jackpot is 1 in 80.1 million.

By comparison, the chances of winning the Routt County 4-H Club's drawing for a new pickup look pretty good.

Just 18 days away from the drawing, 4-H students and their community business helpers are still trying to sell their $100 raffle tickets.

The prize is a Dodge Dakota four-door pickup.

The group is selling only 600 tickets, making chances of winning a lot better than trying to win a jackpot in Las Vegas or Powerball.

The Colorado Cooperative Extension, which runs the 4-H program, will use proceeds from the drawing to fund a community barn and arena at the Routt County Fairgrounds.

So far, the Extension has sold 95 tickets. Students are holding another 360 tickets.

"The kids were supposed to get back to me on the inventory," said Jay Whaley, the Extension's 4-H director.

4-H council member Tucker Louthan said he's sold only six tickets. "Community members are buying them, but a lot of people just don't feel like spending $100 on a ticket," Louthan said.

Students are taking the truck around and talking to groups including the Rotary Club this morning.

Other partners in the drawing aren't faring much better.

Soda Creek Mercantile has sold only four tickets for the 4-H Club as it tries to raise money to help build a community barn and arena at the local fairgrounds.

"If the tickets were $25 we probably would have a sold a million of them to tourists," said store manager Bill Montag, adding that locals are the main buyers.

"One hundred dollars out of a tourist's pocket is a lot of money," Montag said.

Community First Bank is faring better, selling about 15 tickets, said 4-H adviser Dean Vogelaar.

Vogelaar said students are scattered during the summer break, so the Extension will hold a "call night" to account for where the group is on ticket sales. Students will get together to go over lists of people who might be interested in buying the tickets and concentrate on calling them up by phone.

"Working together, we can get things moving along," Vogelaar said.

Elk River Farm and Feed sold six tickets, and Steamboat Motors, where the truck is being held, hasn't reported how many it has sold.

The students bought the truck for $24,000, which means they need to sell at least 240 tickets to break even. No matter what, the truck will be sold Aug. 18 during the Routt County Fair barbecue.

The second-prize winner will get a trip to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.

Tickets are being sold by 4-H members, Community First Bank, Elk River Farm and Feed, Soda Creek Mercantile and the Cooperative Extension Office in the Routt County Courthouse Annex building.

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