Chase the Ace Takes Over St. Stephen

The line to purchase tickets for Chase the Ace is a long and winding one at the Garcelon Civic Center on Wednesday nights. To manage the huge number of participants, other local businesses have begun selling tickets for the phenomenally popular lottery that simultaneously benefits the Fundy Region Transition House. (Photo by Natalie Boomer)

 By Natalie Boomer

 

On Wednesdays, St. Stephen may be a little bit busier than normal. In fact, The Garcelon Civic Center, Dooly’s Pub, Kelly’s on King, the St. Stephen Curling Club and The Five Kings restaurant will be jam-packed full of people. This is due to ticket sales for Chase the Ace, a popular local lottery that began in 2015. Participants buy raffle tickets for a chance to win twenty percent of total ticket sales and a chance at the jackpot.

For the week of March 14th, the jackpot has grown to a whopping $280,547 CAN. Winners of the evening raffle have the opportunity see if they can draw the Ace of Spades to win the jackpot. Last week’s winner, Rick Thomas, won $40,260 CAN but did not draw the ace.

There are often additional prizes added in. In one recent week, if you bought $20 worth of raffle tickets, you were also entered into a drawing to win a two-night stay at the Chateau Moncton and $225 worth of gift cards for food and gas.

Although it may make for a fun night out, it’s not just for fun or to win money. Fifty percent of the ticket sales go to Fundy Region Transition House. If the Ace is found by the winner, an additional thirty percent will also go to the Transition House. If it’s not found, the thirty percent will roll over into next week for the jackpot.

Because the game is played in Canada, there is no tax on the lottery winnings as income. But if you’re from America and playing, you’ll have to claim your new Canadian funds in your home state.

Ticket sales will begin at 5 p.m. AST and end at 9 p.m. Originally, tickets were only sold at the Garcelon, but organizers rapidly realized the need to expand. “Last week, at the Civic Center, we never thought we’d be at this point. They are probably going to reach a capacity this week where they probably won’t be able to let people in. Having said that, we are reaching out to local businesses because these five locations where we’re selling tickets aren’t the only places in town,” said volunteer Kelly Kurtz-Johnson.

Because there are thousands of people buying tickets, it’s best if you buy your tickets at one of the locations and then listen to live on 98.1 the Tide from a different location when the winner is drawn. Remember that you must be 19 years of age or older to play.