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Edmonton Eskimos' 50/50 raffle promotion breaks $300,000 mark

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Tens of thousands of fans packed the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Canada tonight for the Canadian Football League’s game between the Edmonton Eskimos and the Calgary Stampeders.

But exactly how many are there for what has been billed as “The Battle of Alberta,” and how many are there to gamble?

That’s because the jackpot for the “50/50 Draw” -- a raffle in which the team splits the proceeds with a winning fan -- started unusually high tonight ($71,732 CAD, which is roughly $66,777 USD) due to an unclaimed winning ticket from the Eskimos' previous game.

With so much money on the line already, organizers knew things might get out of control and employed extra police officers. Tickets for the raffle were on sale outside and inside the stadium, before and during the first three quarters of the game. Fans were lining up hours beforehand, but that didn't stop the scene from getting insane during the game, according to tweets from people live on scene.

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Fans stuck in line missed a great game -- one of the more competitive ones so far of the season. CBC reported that the winner of the raffle would not be announced during the game, a pretty smart idea seeing as how the jackpot reached over $300,000 at halftime.