City having no luck finding a winner

Tuesday, February 13th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. (AP) -- The city of Broken Arrow is trying to give away $10,000. If only someone would come claim it.

There have been three drawings for the ultimate prize in an annual promotion called Buy Broken Arrow, and no one has stepped forward with a winning ticket.

"We're just going to draw until someone comes forward," says Kathy Landreth, director of organizational programs for the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce.

In an effort to find a winner, chamber officials have decided to change the rules a bit. Instead of waiting 15 business days for a shopper to come forward with the winning ticket, they're going to wait just five. The next drawing is Wednesday.

Chamber of Commerce officials have been getting a continuous stream of phone calls since Dec. 21, when the first ticket was drawn.

The Buy Broken Arrow campaign is designed to keep shoppers in the city by giving them a chance to win money. One ticket was given away just for going into an area store. More could be earned by spending money. More than 2.3 million tickets were distributed.

The plan this year, as in the past, was for ticket holders to go to the Broken Arrow High School stadium for the drawing. They would have to be present to win.

Then an ice storm hit, and chamber officials decided to broadcast the numbers on television and radio stations instead of making people get out in the treacherous weather.

Suddenly, drawing number after number became a time-consuming process. When shoppers had to be present to win, chamber officials could draw 12 tickets in a matter of minutes before finding a winner.

It's been frustrating, but some business owners say they couldn't be happier about the situation.

"It's wonderful," says Chris Sottilo, Sutherland's store manager. "It's the best advertising we can expect. It gets our name out there."

After officials announced that the second ticket was given out at Sutherland's, the store got hundreds of phone calls, Sottilo said.

Of course, there have been some disappointed people come in to say they have thrown their tickets away. But most people are just waiting for the next week's drawing.

"Someone has to win it," Sottilo says.