By Alex Lippa
---- — PLAISTOW — Shoppers: On your mark, get set, shop — and do it quickly.
One lucky person will win a three-minute shopping spree at Market Basket on Plaistow Road on April 26. The shopping spree is the grand prize in a raffle held by the Plaistow Lions.
“We like doing things in the community,” said Jay DeRoche, second vice president of the Lions. “We had heard that Market Basket had done something like this in Massachusetts and we thought it would be something a little different.”
DeRoche and fellow organizer Clay Patles called up Market Basket, and they were more than happy to do it.
“They were very receptive to doing it,” DeRoche said. “They’re going to even close the store for us,”
The event will be held before the store opens for the day, so the winner will have the store all to themselves. Everything in the store will be up for grabs except for beer, wine and cigarettes.
The supermarket sweep is based on the television game show of the same name which aired from 1968 to 2003. On the show, contestants would run around a supermarket, trying to load their carts with expensive as quickly as possible.
Last April, the Market Basket in Woburn, Mass., held a similar event. The winner ended up with $1,800 in groceries.
The winner of the raffle will have three minutes to run through the store. If the winner is not physically able to run through the store, they can choose someone to run for them.
The event has excited the community, according to DeRoche. When the Lions posted the event on their Facebook page earlier this month, it was the most viewed post they have had in two years.
“Everyone wants to know how they are able to get them,” he said. “We have no limit on the number of tickets that we are going to sell.”
The majority of the proceeds from the event will go toward the Lions’ community efforts. The group hopes to install scoreboards at the Plaistow Area Recreation Complex on Old Country Road.
The drawing will be held a week before the event.
“That way, people will have a chance to map out their plan of attack,” DeRoche said.
But some people are already thinking ahead.
Shirley Orio, 43, of Atkinson hasn’t bought her tickets just yet, but already knows where she would head if she won.
“I’d go right to the gluten-free section,” Orio said. “My daughter has celiac disease and the gluten-free stuff is expensive. After that, I’d probably head for the meats and cheeses.”
Orio said she remembers watching the show when it was on television.
“I always wished that I could be on it,” she said. “It makes a lot of sense. People always need groceries and it would be a fun thing to do.”
Tickets are $5 each, five for $20. They can be purchased by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.