Strangers Sitting Next To Each Other at Baseball Game Split Raffle Ticket and Win $18K

by Matthew Memrick

Could you agree to split $18,401 in a raffle? Two random baseball-loving strangers did that recently at a Boston Red Sox game and became friends in the process.

The Cleveland Indians were playing the Red Sox in the first game of the three-game series. The two men sat near each other and enjoyed what ended up becoming a Boston victory (8-5).

A Massachusetts man sat next to a California man. They had not met before the game but decided to buy a 50/50 raffle ticket together on a whim. 

A 50/50 draw is a lottery in which half of the ticket revenue brought in goes to the winning ticket holder, while the other half goes to charity. According to its website, the Red Sox Foundation 50/50 Raffle gives fans “the opportunity to support their communities while offering them a chance to win big cash prizes.”

They agreed to split the money if they won. The men’s ticket, T-1136199, won, and they ended up splitting $18,401 after the three-hour game.

That’s right. Two guys from among 37,673 paid fans took home some moolah. Unfortunately, the two newfound friends decided to keep their names secret. Do you blame them?

The winners fist-bumped for a photo, holding up the paper with the winning numbers. They didn’t reveal how they’d spend the money.

Lots Of Pro Teams Do 50/50 Raffles

Several pro baseball teams do a 50/50 raffle.

Earlier in August, the Toronto Star reported on the Blue Jays’ vast jackpot.

The Blue Jays’ 50/50 Return to Toronto jackpot climbed to a record-breaking $1.96 million on August 8, making it the largest 50/50 ever in Major League Baseball history. 

The next day, the team announced a winner, and that winner would get $1,960,430.  

Another man replied on the Blue Jay Foundation’s Twitter post.

“Can you let me know if this 1.8 million 50-50 draw prize has been claimed?” Ryan Penner asked. “I have lost my ticket, and I’m going crazy and need some closure here.”

Is A Raffle Worth It?

There are quite a few math majors on the Internet and social media who have looked into the odds of winning

Ultimately, one person (or two in this case) may win, but the charity involved and the community is usually the real winner.

There are several wild moments in raffle-winning history to match this Red Sox fan duo. One particularly stands out with 23-year-old Neal Wanless.

In 2009, the man was behind on his taxes among a host of other problems.

The Winner, S.D. resident spent $5 on five plays using family birthdates.

The result? Wanless took home one of the biggest wins in Powerball jackpot history. He took the lump-sum payment and pulled in $88.5 million. After the win, he said he planned to put some of the money back into the community, too.