Thursday, July 10, 2008

When Winners Lose

Every year, the Bayview Chamber of commerce holds a raffle in which two Thousand dollars is raised. One thousand goes to the fireworks fund. The other thousand goes to the lucky winner, Unless the winner is Ralph Jones. Like most years, the ticket sales, only 100 total, are sold throughout the year. When the clutch time comes and they are not all sold yet, the officers of the Chamber step up and buy the rest.

Such was the case several years ago when Loraine Landwehr, then treasurer of the Chamber, won something like 3 out of 6 years. Why so lucky? Ticket sales were down and she made up the difference. This year, Ralph bought the last ticket, put his grandchild's name on it and lo and behold, Vicki Richardson, newly crowned
Queen of Bayview drew Ralph's ticket.Ralph Jones, is the Vice-president of the chamber.

Kathy Ellis, treasurer, has refused to fund the winnings, claiming that there is a law against officers of an organization holding a raffle being eligible. Ellis even went, according to Jones, so far as to suggest Jones should have known better. Jones, of course referred to the previous officer winning multiple times and also suggested that if those are the rules, then why weren't they posted in advance of the sale, rather than after the fact. Should then Landwehr be required to refund her past Winnings? It would appear that the defining difference this year over the past, are the personalities involved, rather than the situation.Jim MacDonald, president, is backing Ellis's decision. Methinks we haven't heard the last of this mess. Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

I was in Bayview for the 1st time for Bayview Daze. I had a blast. I bought raffles for the $5.00 dollar drawing which entitled winners to local restarurants and other businesses. I never heard of the raffle Ralph won. However, Ralph allows practically free internet to people, such as myself, a part-time owner. If there is a controversy, perhaps, they could split the winnings with Ralph and put the rest towards the fireworks for 2009. But, to not give something to his granddaughter is not fair. New rules should be inforced if the family members cannot win.

Anonymous said...

THAT WAS THEN AND THIS IS NOW. Give Ralph back his $20.00 and let's not ignore the laws.

Bay Views said...

Scanning Idaho statutes can be a daunting experience. Having said that, I can't find a law that prohibits a board member or officer of a non-profit organization with a prize $1000 or less,an unlicensed entity to collect a prize where an open drawing is concerned. This is not about whether you like or don't like Ralph. It's about fairness.

I went one step further. I called Lorraine Landwehr, CPA and former auditor of many non-profit organizations. Her comment was this: "Many organizations have policies that prohibit members or employees from participating in drawings and other contests. There is, however, no law that prohibits them from buying a ticket in good faith, drawing the winner in an honest open drawing. I myself have won several times when I was an officer of the Chamber."

It appears that if the treasurer of the Chamber wants to deny this prize, she will have to produce the statute that prohibits it. If there is one, and I was unable to find it, it most likely penalizes the sponsoring organization, rather than the recipient.

Bay Views said...

Many of my friends will not believe what I just wrote, knowing that what I would normally say is,"This is bullshit." OK, now I have said it. Prove me wrong, or back up.

Bay Views said...

Show Me The Law!

Mike said...

Let's keep our heads clear and let the chips fall where they may. The truth comes clear in time. I trust everyone ultimately has the best interests of the community at heart.

Hey it keeps things interesting. Let's work this out without shooting ourselves in the foot and getting all pissy.

BayviewBob said...

Looks like Grandpa Jones is good to go! Show him the money!

It is lawful for any charitable organization to conduct raffles in accordance
with the provisions of this chapter. Any charitable or nonprofit organization
who conducts a raffle in violation of any provision of this chapter may be
assessed a civil penalty not in excess of ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
Additionally, any person knowingly conducting a raffle in violation of any
provision of this chapter may be charged under the gambling laws of the state
contained in chapter 38, title 18, Idaho Code. It shall not constitute a
violation of state law to advertise a charitable raffle conducted pursuant to
this section. It is lawful to participate in a charitable raffle conducted
pursuant to this chapter. A charitable raffle conducted lawfully pursuant to
this chapter is not gambling for purposes of chapter 38, title 18, Idaho Code.
(2) Raffles shall be limited to twelve (12) per charitable organization
per year, provided that this limitation shall not apply to public or private
elementary or secondary schools located in this state. The maximum aggregate
value of cash prize(s) that may be offered or paid for any one (1) raffle,
which is not a duck race or a holiday Christmas tree fundraiser, is one
thousand dollars ($1,000) and if merchandise is used as a prize and it is not
redeemable for cash, there shall be no limit on the maximum amount of value
for the merchandise. For duck races, there shall be no limit on the maximum
amount of the value of a cash prize if the cash prize is underwritten by
insurance. If a duck race offers a cash prize that is not underwritten by
insurance, the maximum aggregate value of the cash prize(s) is one thousand
dollars ($1,000). There shall be no maximum value on the amount that a tree
may be raffled for in a holiday Christmas tree fundraiser. There shall be no
limit on the maximum of value for merchandise used as a prize in a duck race
or a holiday Christmas tree fundraiser if the merchandise is not redeemable
for cash.
(3) As used in this subsection, "net proceeds of a charitable raffle"
means the gross receipts less the cost of prizes awarded. "Net proceeds of a
duck race" shall mean gross receipts, less the cost of prizes awarded and the
rental cost of the ducks used in the race. "Net proceeds of a holiday
Christmas tree fundraiser" shall mean the gross receipts less the cost of
procuring the trees or other prizes. No less than ninety percent (90%) of the
net proceeds of a raffle shall be used by the charitable organization for
charitable, religious, educational, civic or other nonprofit purposes.
(4) Any licensed charitable or nonprofit organization conducting raffles
pursuant to this chapter shall prepare a statement at the close of its license
year and shall file such statement with the state lottery. The statement shall
be prepared on a form prescribed by the lottery commission and shall include,
at a minimum, the following information:
(a) The number of raffles conducted or sponsored by the charitable or
nonprofit organization;
(b) The location and date at which each raffle was conducted;
(c) The gross revenues of each raffle;
(d) The fair market value of any prize given at each raffle;
(e) The amount paid in prizes at each raffle;
(f) The amount paid to the charitable organization;
(g) An accounting of all gross revenues and the disbursements required by
statute and rule of the state lottery commission.
(5) Every charitable or nonprofit organization whose annual gross
revenues exceed two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000) from the operation of
raffle events shall provide the state lottery with a copy of an annual audit
of the raffle events. The audit shall be performed by an independent public
accountant and submitted within ninety (90) days after the end of the license

The Idaho Code is made available on the Internet by the Idaho Legislature as a public service. This Internet version of the Idaho Code may not be used for commercial purposes, nor may this database be published or repackaged for commercial sale without express written permission.

Anonymous said...

Now read Idaho Statute 67, Chapter 77, (67-7711 (3).

Bay Views said...

Anyone care to post a link to this other comment?

Bay Views said...

I am going to post the above referenced paragraph with my interpretations following. Note that I am not an attorney, but I see the verbiage differently than the referring person. Also, As I pointed out earlier, the regulations are there to punish the sponsoring entity, not the innocent recipient.

3) The operation of bingo sessions or games or charitable raffles shall
be the direct responsibility of, and controlled by, a special committee
selected by the governing body of the organization. If the governing body has
not appointed a special committee, the members of the governing body shall be
held responsible for the conduct of the bingo sessions or games or raffles. No
directors or officers of an organization or persons related to them either by
marriage or blood within the second degree shall receive any compensation
derived from the proceeds of a bingo session or raffle regulated under the
provisions of this chapter. An organization shall not contract with any person
for the purpose of conducting a bingo session or providing bingo services or
conducting a raffle on the organization's behalf, provided that this
prohibition does not prevent a bingo organization from hiring employees and
paying wages as provided in section 67-7709(1)(d)(ii), Idaho Code. However, if
the state lottery commission has entered into an agreement or contract with
another state for the operation or promotion of joint bingo sessions, the
charitable or nonprofit organization may participate in that contract or

Bay Views said...

As I stated above, I am not an attorney, yet I interpreted this word,"compensation derived from the proceeds," as meaning paying the person for soliciting players or buying tickets, not being a winner.

If there is an attorney out there that would care to enter the discussion, it would be helpful.

In any event, it is also the law, (see above) that a committee be appointed and oversee, set rules, BEFORE THE TICKETS ARE SOLD, NOT AFTER A WINNER IS DECLARED.

BayviewBob said...

"Now read Idaho Statute 67, Chapter 77, (67-7711 (3)."

I did, It doesn't say anyone that runs the raffle can't buy a ticket and win, it says you can't get paid for running the raffle from the proceeds.

All of the proceeds ( minus 50% to the prize ) went into the fireworks fund!

No one on the committee was compensated for operating the raffle. IMHO anyway.

Anonymous said...

Has anybody asked Ralph what he would do with the money?

Bay Views said...

Why would it be anyone's business what Ralph does with the money. In the past, it was never a requirement for the winners to divulge such information. I'm going to call this one of the most stupid questions I've ever heard. The check whould/should be issued to the name on the ticket, which is not Ralph. If a tragedy hits his daughter and the child is not born, it would, of course revert to the Grandfather, who bought the ticket. Sheeesh!

Anonymous said...

TSK TSK It sounds like we have a few poor sports here. Give Ralph his money and play fair or dont play at all.
You sound like my kids!!