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Report: Saints' Super Bowl ring raffle has collected almost $500K

The New Orleans Saints have raised nearly $500,000 in a Super Bowl ring raffle that will benefit people affected by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the *Times-Picayune* reported Tuesday.

Raffle tickets are $2 each, but buyers must make a minimum $10 order. The deadline is Sept. 9, and the raffle winner will be announced before that night's regular-season opener between the Saints and Minnesota Vikings in New Orleans.

The Saints announced the raffle earlier this month when owner Tom Benson, coaches and players visited an area of Louisiana hard hit by the oil spill. The ring is identical to the ones given to members who were on the Super Bowl XLIII winning team.

BP oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded April 20, killing 11 people, and sank two days later about 50 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River. Millions of gallons of oil have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico since then.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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