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Bonanza Extravaganza

May 13, 2006|BY TIFFANY ARNOLD

CONOCOCHEAGUE

Starting at noon today, somebody will win a prize every five minutes. Maybe even $1 million.

Today is day two of a three-day Bonanza Extravaganza fundraiser, hosted by Hagerstown's career firefighters at Hagerstown Speedway.

Proceeds from the tickets, which were sold prior to the fundraiser for $100 each, will go to a good cause, said Rick Conrad, event organizer and spokesman for Hagerstown's International Association of Firefighters Local 1605. All profits will go to the union's nonprofit foundation, which provides money to local charities, said Conrad, who works for the Hagerstown Fire Department.

The fundraiser is the first of its kind, Conrad said.

Organizers are expecting 10,000 people today. The event has sold out, though organizers were selling one-day guest passes to visitors on Friday.

There will be music, gaming tables, and food and alcohol vendors at the speedway, but most ticket-holders are calling today "Prize Day."

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Organizers plan to give out 90 prizes, including seven automobiles, seven Harley-Davidson motorcycles and $180,000 in other cash prizes, Conrad said.

There also is the $1 million drawing. People must purchase a separate raffle ticket during the event to enter the drawing. Organizers will randomly draw 10 finalists from the pool of entrants.

The finalist able to guess a secret code wins the money. If nobody is able to guess the code, Conrad said each would split an undetermined cash prize.

Conrad said the code was pregenerated by a machine and placed into a sealed envelope.

Natalie Ingram and Jeff Ingram Jr., a married couple from Waynesboro, Pa., said they didn't know a single firefighter.

"I guess we know people, who know people, who know people," Natalie Ingram said.

But there was something they did know.

"We're hoping for a small chance of winning the prize tomorrow - the million-dollar prize, of course," Jeff Ingram said.

Word got all the way out to New Freedom, Pa., a town just outside York, Christine Tennant said.

Tennant said she heard about the bonanza after a friend saw an advertisement for it at a Harley-Davidson shop in York.

Tennant and seven others are camping out in Hagerstown this weekend. She said she is hoping to win a new Harley.

"I already have one, but I'd like to win one," Tennant said. "Or the money. One-hundred-thousand dollars or a million. That would be nice, too."

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