ROCHESTER — For the last 12 years, Chris Olsen has tried to replicate the night he walked away with a shiny new motorcycle as a part of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce’s first giveaway in 2004.
Luck, fate — whatever you call it — had eluded the Albany resident since 2004. That is, until Friday night, when he became the first repeat winner of the chamber’s annual Raffle Bash. Olsen’s ticket was the last one drawn in the event’s reverse raffle, and in a twist, Olsen opted to go home with $10,000 cash rather than another Harley-Davidson.
Each year during the Raffle Bash, which is the chamber’s biggest fundraiser of the year, contestants buy a ticket for $100 to participate in a reverse raffle. The last ticket drawn gets the pick of either $10,000 cash or a motorcycle, and Olsen continued a recent trend in which the winner has opted for the money.
The chamber sold 325 tickets this year. Richard Sanfacon, of Milton, won $1,000 as the drawing’s runner-up. Northwood’s Mark Farrell and Rochester’s Don Thurston won $500 and $250 as the second and third runners-up, respectively.
Every ticket drawn during the reverse raffle was entered into second-chance prize drawings for 30 different prize packages donated by area businesses and organizations.