New online lotto scheme offering free cash prizes for GAA supporters and clubs
FROM cow clap draws and pig racing to Strictly Come Dancing and white collar boxing, GAA clubs have always come up with creative ways to raise much-needed funds.
Sometimes, though, you just can’t beat the traditional route.
Lotto draws have been a staple for many years, and a new initiative offers GAA clubs and their supporters the chance to win money via free daily and weekly draws online.
The website www.freegaalotto.com is the brainchild of Jason Glynn and Martin Kirwan, and was officially launched on March 10. To sign up, you just have to register an email address and the name of your club.
Once a confirmation email has been received and confirmed, you will be automatically entered into a daily draw for €10 (this takes place at 11am every day, when an email address is chosen at random), with €100 up for grabs for clubs in the weekly draw every Saturday (using an official GAA club email).
Those prizes will roll over until the following day or week should they go unclaimed.
“I had the idea for it three years ago,” said Madrid-based Galway native Glynn, who is involved with the Harps GAA club in the Spanish capital.
“I’ve seen these daily draw propositions take off and do really well and I just thought, with the parochial nature of the GAA and the fact Irish people are brilliant at getting behind a cause, that you could do one of these daily draws with the option to make money for the club also.
“You know, €50 euro here, €100 euro there means an awful lot to a lot of these clubs so myself and Martin, who's chairman of our club, banged our heads together in January and decided to go with it.
“So far, the uptake has been really good, clubs from England, clubs from home, and it’s been getting shared on the WhatsApp groups – you could see people were interested in it.”
The aim, according to Glynn, is to have given away €20,000 by the time St Patrick’s Day 2020 rolls around – by which stage he hopes that sponsorship and advertising will have come on board to help fund the project.
“Currently, the money is coming out of our pockets,” he said.
“Our focus for the first three to six months is just to grow the community, the daily activity, and hopefully the monetisation will follow. We’ve got lots of ideas about how to bring the traditional GAA fundraising that’s done on the local field online.
“It’ll come through sponsorship and advertising. We’ve already built up a nice number of followers, and we’re looking to build a strong GAA community.
“The key at this stage is to generate interest. Well over 50 per cent of the people who receive the email have come back and visited the website. Over 90 per cent of people signed up have confirmed their email address, so people are understanding the concept.”
No matter what happens down the line, however, the draw will always remain free to participants, Glynn insists.
“It’s 100% free and always will be.
“You don’t need to sell tickets. It’s open to everyone and promotes clubs and their supporters. The more entries clubs have the bigger the chance of winning.
“We believe it should be fun and simple to help GAA clubs and their supporters generate some extra money. We want to help people and give them the opportunity to help their own clubs simply by clicking a button.
“We want them to be able to get other people involved who may not be able to and also give people abroad the opportunity to stay involved and do their bit for their home club.”