SBJ/March 20 - 26, 2000/No Topic Name

NTRA mails mystery tickets to racing fans

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association is going to ask horse racing fans this summer if they want to be a millionaire.

In what is believed to be the largest-ever promotion in horse racing, the NTRA will send out mystery pari-mutuel tickets to 750,000 to 1 million fans. One ticket will be worth $1 million if the lucky fan redeems it at his or her local racetrack on Aug. 6.

"Racetracks have been doing promotions like this in their local markets for a number of years," said Keith Chamblin, NTRA vice president of industry relations marketing. But top prizes in those giveaways generally have been around $10,000 to $20,000, he said.

The promotion is meant to boost attendance at racetracks around the United States on Aug. 6, Chamblin said. That is the day of the Whitney Handicap, the final race on the NTRA horse racing series on the Fox network.

Racetracks that chose to participate will bear the costs of the promotion, while the NTRA will bear the cost of insuring the $1 million prize, he said.

Chamblin said the NTRA hopes to find a sponsor or sponsors to offset some of the costs of the promotion. The NTRA can offer sponsors a chance to have fliers included in the direct mailing, he said.

The NTRA will promote the giveaway through the summer on its national television shows, on its Web site and in the print media, Chamblin said.

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