Wendy Bateman was this week's winner of the Catch the Ace lottery. She bought her ticket at Canoe FM./Photo submitted

Catch the Ace hopes to net community support

By Jenn Watt

Published July 18 2017

Catch the Ace hopes to net community support

The ace of spades has proved elusive for the last nine weeks in the new Catch the Ace fundraising initiative for the Haliburton Highlands Outdoors Association and Canoe FM.

The progressive jackpot continues to grow each week as more people buy their tickets in hopes of hooking the winning card and taking home the accumulated jackpot.

On Wednesday the next ticket will be drawn at the fish hatchery near Haliburton which is a recipient of the money raised through the lottery. If the ace of spades is drawn that day the winner will take home almost $3000 said Rusty Rustenburg vice-president of marketing and education for the HHOA.

The odds are excellent; there are about 450 tickets available a week. Last week 175 tickets were sold with the winner Wendy Bateman taking home $175 – 20 per cent of sales.

The way the lottery works is a bit complicated but it leads to an ever growing pot of money for the ultimate winner.

When you buy your ticket for $5 you pick a number between one and 52 which corresponds to an envelope kept under lock and key. If your ticket is drawn from the drum on Wednesday it is opened and your number revealed. Then the corresponding envelope is opened showing one of the playing cards.

When you buy a ticket you’re also asked to select higher or lower than your chosen number. That way if your envelope was already selected in the nine previous draws they can move to the next envelope in sequence.

Even if you don’t pick the envelope with the ace of spades you still win 20 per cent of sales that week with 30 per cent added to the jackpot and the other 50 per cent going to the charities.

“The formula they had took off in the East Coast” said Rustenburg.

The lotteries (called Chase the Ace) out east regularly make headlines as hundreds of thousands of tickets are sold for the chance to win the big jackpot.

One man won $1.3 million in New Brunswick in September for example.

In Haliburton the amount is necessarily smaller; the municipal licence the group attained will allow up to $50000 total sales.

Still the chance of winning thousands of dollars on a $5 ticket is pretty good.

The money that comes to the HHOA will go to “keep the pumps running and the lights on” says Rustenburg who notes the fish hatchery’s annual hydro bill is $16000.

Besides the hatchery the HHOA also has several clubs including archery fly fishing and bass fishing.

Tickets can be purchased at most of the locations that sell Canoe FM bingo tickets including Haliburton Foodland Todd’s Independent the fish hatchery Jug City Outdoor Plus and Canoe FM in Haliburton; the Lucky Dollar in Gooderham; Agnew’s General Store in Wilberforce; West Guilford Shopping Centre; Eagle Lake Country Market; and On the Spot Variety and Jug City in Minden.

For more information call Canoe FM at 705-457-1009.