It took three tries, but the Oxbow and District Recreation’s running Chace the Ace fundraiser is finally seeing the jackpot hit high numbers.
The licence is almost expired, which means that with 26 cards left in the deck, on June 17 the ace of spades will have to be drawn and someone will become at least $18,000 wealthier.
“That’s the last night of this particular game. We are really excited that we’ve gone to the end on this one because it really helps to increase the jackpot,” said Oxbow community development officer Tami Scott.
On June 10, the jackpot was $16,474. Krista Grulich’s ticket was drawn and she won the weekly jackpot but came up short on the Ace of Spades. Ticket sales started as soon as the last draw was over. They’ve been growing by about $2,500 every week and Scott expects the final jackpot to reach at least $18,000-$19,000 by June 17.
This is the second licence the Oxbow and District Recreation Board received from the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority, and they’ve never had the pot go up this high. The first time they played the game, the jackpot grew up to about $5,000. And the first couple of tries on this licence, which was obtained in September, were completed quite fast.
“We had a rocky start for the game in terms of growing the ace jackpot because the second night the ace of spades got drawn. And then we started a new game with a new deck of cards and the ace of spades got drawn again in the fall,” said Scott.
This particular game started around Christmas time and in the spring it was switched to an online format due to COVID-19.
On June 17 the board will start out with an individual who wins the weekly jackpot and they will have the first chance to draw for the ace of spades. If they don’t catch the sacred card, the organizers will continue to draw names until the lucky winner gets a hold of the ace of spades and wins the big jackpot.
If more than one person is to try their luck that night, Scott said they will call only the first winner and they’ll be drawing cards for everyone after that, so they can wrap up the game in a timely manner.
The Oxbow and District Recreation Board gets 50 per cent of weekly sales that they put into their community projects.
“We’ve been averaging $3,000-$4,000 every week, so that’s very for good for our recreation board, a very good fundraiser,” said Scott.
Last year the board introduced an online registration and scheduling system for recreation facilities. The money raised through Chace the Ace has been used to pay for the innovation. But with such strong support from the community, it seems that there will be some funds left for other initiatives.
“Of course, we’ve exceeded our expectations on that, so I’m certain that we’ll find another project to (use) the money towards,” said Scott.
She noted that the game attracted a lot of attention and was entertaining during these trying times.
“It’s very exciting for the community. We’ve got lots of people interested and excited to watch the draw every week,” said Scott.
“We are really pleased with the support we were getting both from within Oxbow and surrounding communities. It’s been fun to see lots of names come in to play the game.”
Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased either at Credit Union in Oxbow or via e-transfer to OxbowChaseTheAce@outlook.com. Livestream will start at 7:45 p.m. on June 17 at Oxbow & District Recreation Board Facebook page.