Next year, if you buy a $20 ticket for Ottawa First’s annual Independence Day Fireworks Raffle, consider seeking out Bob Carretto to buy it from.
This year, Carretto sold all the tickets that won four big money prizes as well as one of the “early bird” winners.
Of course, Carretto also sold the most tickets — 718 of the 2,500 tickets. The other “early bird” winning ticket was sold by Dan Aussem, who sold the second most tickets at 274.
All the tickets sold out again this year, as has been the case since 2015.
Carretto could be regularly seen outside of Handy Foods selling tickets. Other popular sale locations were outside Herman’s Package Store and the farmers market on Jackson Street.
Other volunteers in the nonprofit organization sold the rest.
“Everybody did a great job as usual,” said Ottawa First President Larry Johnson.
Other money also flowed into the fireworks fund, said Treasurer LouAnne Carretto.
A Saturday collection at Columbus Street and Norris Drive netted $2,543 while collections from July 4 through July 6 brought in $1,573.
All together, a variety of sources accounted for a total of $5,598 in funds beyond the raffle ticket proceeds.
Vince Evola, of Sam’s Pizza in Ottawa, was the winner of the top prize of $10,000. The other winners were Mike Strange, $3,000; Don Kiesig, $2,000; and Susan Bursztynsky, $1,000.