Big prizes not drawing big crowds like the ‘good old days’

Services Club secretary/manager Linda Carter re-set the Joker board on Thursday night after unlucky Bethany Harland had a pick at the board. Bethany got the Five of Hearts and a free drink. If the Joker is uncovered tomorrow night, the winner will pocket $24,000.

The Services Club’s Joker prize was $23,500 last Thursday night however the draw failed to attract a big crowd.

Services Club secretary/manager Linda Carter said it wasn’t like the old days at the Occidental Hotel when their Joker draw was near $70,000 and the crowd spilled out on the street.

Linda said with pretty good odds (last week patrons had a one in 15 chance of picking the Joker), she’s surprised that more people aren’t attending.

“Normally the crowd doesn’t start picking up until the prize is up to about $17,000,” she said.

“They’re lucky here in Cobar. It starts at $5,000 and goes up $500 each week.”

Linda said she knew of other towns where they get much bigger crowds to their draws for a much smaller prize and one that only jackpots $100 each week.

Two weeks ago the Narromine Hotel Motel reportedly pulled a huge crowd when their Joker prize was $4,300.

According to the hotel’s Facebook page, after such a good turn out, the next week they “decided to chuck an extra $500 in to make it a massive $5,000”. (It normally only jackpots $100 each week.) Their Joker didn’t go off last Thursday and, with just one card left on the board this week, it looks like it will be a massive night for the pub.

Cobar Bowling & Golf Club secretary/manager Demi Smith said they had a pretty good crowd on Saturday night for the club’s Jerry the Joker prize of $10,000 but she thinks that’s because the Mega Club Draw is also run on Saturday nights.

Last week the Mega Draw offered a jackpot prize of $15,000.

“Saturday night is usually our busiest night of the week,” Demi said.

Both of the Golfie’s competitions were not won last week and so this week’s Jerry the Joker prize is $10,500 while the Mega Club Draw jackpot is now $16,000.

The Services Club’s Joker draw tomorrow night will offer a prize of $24,000.

If not won, this prize could go as high as $31,000. New rules brought in by the Office of Liquor and Gaming say at the beginning you’ve got to know what you’re winning at the end,” Linda explained.

“If we choose to start at $5,000 and it goes up $500 a week, so $500 a week for 52 weeks is $26,000, and add $5,000 start up, that brings it to $31,000, so it won’t go past $31,000.”

Linda said while she gets nervous and excited each week, it would be great for the club if the draw did get down to the last card before it was won.