On Sunday, the 49ers Foundation 50/50 Raffle presented by Black Oak Casino Resort will benefit 49ers EDU, one of the direct programs of the 49ers Foundation. It will also be a milestone for the 49ers Foundation as they are on track to hit the $1 million mark in money raised for their beneficiary programs.
To celebrate our home opener and the great work of the 49ers Foundation, let's take a look back at our first winner of the 2017 season, Nick Moreno, who chose to set aside the money from the raffle for his youngest daughter's college education.
Moreno has been a 49ers fan for as long as he could remember. Moreno's family are season ticket holders; he frequently attended games at Candlestick Park growing up and was even at the very last game there before the 49ers moved to Levi's Stadium in 2014.
Moreno's youngest daughter, Nicolycia Moreno, who was 15 at the time, convinced her dad to buy a 50/50 raffle ticket at the home opener of the 2017 season.
"I asked her if she felt good about the ticket and she said she was feeling lucky, so we went ahead and bought one," Moreno recalled. "I told her that if we won the money, I wanted to give it to her."
Moreno admitted that he was a little skeptical, as he had never actually seen someone win the 50/50 raffle in person. He didn't think too much about it when he bought the ticket early in the game.
When the time came for the winner to be announced, Moreno had Nicolycia hold the ticket. Once they saw that the numbers matched, he couldn't believe that it was really theirs. "We started high-fiving the whole section."
When asked what it meant to win the money for his daughter, Moreno said, "I'm putting two daughters through college already, so it's great for my youngest to have that money going into her senior year to use towards her education. It's a comfort for her knowing that she has that money, because every little bit helps."
Nicolycia plans to pursue a career in dentistry.
Now, two years later, Moreno and his family make sure to buy the 50/50 raffle tickets every chance they get. "I look at it as paying it forward," said Moreno. "Someone is going to get this money and not just the person who wins, but the community is going to get it as well."
The 49ers Foundation 50/50 raffle is available during every home game. Half of the net proceeds posted at each game go to the winning ticket holder and the other half goes to a charitable beneficiary of the 49ers Foundation, like 49ers EDU. To learn more about the 49ers Foundation and their mission to educate and empower Bay Area youth, visit 49ers.com/community.