A 'chase the ace' lottery is underway in McAdam on Saturday as a fundraiser for an assisted living facility for people with intellectual disabilities.

Ken Stannix, with the McAdam Heart and Home Corporation, says the tickets will be sold beginning at 1 p.m. at the McAdam legion, with the draw being held at 3:15.

In chase the ace lotteries, Stannix said the person with the winning ticket gets to choose one card from a deck.

"If they select the ace of hearts they will win the grand jackpot," otherwise they get 20 per cent of ticket sales for that day, with 30 per cent of the pot rolling over.

Stannix said a recent 'chase the ace' lottery in Cape Breton created enormous buzz with a $1.7 million jackpot.

McAdam Heart and Home has a goal of raising $300,000 from the lottery over the next three years, to go towards the estimated $1.5 million needed for the project. 

'They have dignity and self-worth and what we want to try and do is capture that by giving them a hand up, not a hand out.' - Ken Stannix, McAdam Heart and Home

The group wants a building with 10 –12 apartments and a communal living and dining area. Stannix said there are a number of people in the area with developmental challenges who would benefit from such a facility. 

Several of them work at the Lakeland Industries workshop making items such as survey stakes and pallets, and most live at home, Stannix said, often with aging parents who may not always be there to help.

"We said, 'What can we do ... to ease their minds so their children might have a place to live once that transition takes place?" he said.

Stannix said he has been told by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation the project would be eligible for $100,000 "once we're in a position to get a mortgage."

He said he's also been approached by a big box store interested in supporting the project once the group achieves charitable status. He said while he wouldn't turn down government funding, he's trying to stay away from that.

"A lot of these folks are working at Lakeland Industries and they have independence and they have dignity and self-worth and what we want to try and do is capture that by giving them a hand up, not a hand out," said Stannix.