Making money moves: St. Kevin's Parish cashes in $5.8 million in Chase the Ace earnings

During Sunday morning mass in Goulds, the church distributed a highly anticipated balance sheet that revealed the amount of money the fundraiser brought in. The final number? A whopping $5,759,174.

$6.5 million in prizes given out during church fundraiser

St. Kevin's Parish in Goulds has received quite the windfall from Chase the Ace earnings. (Andrew Sampson/CBC)

It's been nearly two months since tens of thousands of people swarmed the Goulds neighbourhood of St. John's for the dramatic finale of Chase the Ace, and now it's finally time for St. Kevin's Parish to share how much it made.

During Sunday morning mass, the church distributed a highly anticipated balance sheet that revealed the amount of money the fundraiser brought in.

The final number? A whopping $5,759,174.

Carol O'Brien says Chase the Ace organizers knew earnings would be big, but were still stunned to hear the final total. (Cal Tobin/CBC)

"We suspected it would be in the millions but when the final tally came down and all expenses were taken out and everything we were all kind of awestruck," said Chase the Ace spokesperson and St. Kevin's Parish finance committee chair Carol O'Brien.

Numbers appeared in church bulletin

Before mass began, churchgoers were able to take a peek by looking — where else? — in the church's weekly bulletin.

Chase the Ace crowds in the Goulds grew and grew as the jackpot kept climbing. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

Several numbers on the list of proceeds stuck out.

From the Chase the Ace draw alone, $4,337,977 in prize money was given out to winners.

Meanwhile, lucky winners of the 50/50 draw brought home a total of $2,129,882

One of the main expenses at Chase the Ace? Tickets. (Twitter)

There were many costs as well — a total of $682,276.77 to be exact. Costs came from things like security expenses, food and refreshments, and printing out tickets.

In total, $385,202 was spent printing 50/50 and Chase the Ace tickets at the Print Shop in Mount Pearl.

How will they spend it? 

The big question on everyone's mind now, O'Brien agrees, is what a small church that has, by her estimation, 500 weekly churchgoers will do with nearly $6 million.

"Don't expect gold-gilded statues or anything like that," she laughed.

Churchgoers attend Sunday morning mass at St. Kevin's Parish in Goulds. (Andrew Sampson/CBC)

O'Brien said the Chase the Ace winnings will go towards conducting much-needed maintenance, creating a nest egg to help the church stay in the black in the future, and helping modernize the parish's food bank.

"The main reason that this whole thing was undertaken was to make sure that in years to come we're not scrambling trying to pay bills," she said. 

"Our collections and congregation is shrinking. So it was basically to ensure that over the next number of years, we can keep our heads above water." 

New steps!

The most visible thing that's different around the parish so far is a shiny new set of steps outside the Parish Hall.

O'Brien says that was high up on the wish list before the draw.

One of the first orders of business following Chase the Ace in Goulds was building a new set of stairs outside St. Kevin's Parish hall. (Andrew Sampson/CBC)

While the church never expected beyond its wildest dreams that it would make this much money for Chase the Ace, the show must go on.

Now, O'Brien hopes that some of the volunteers who helped out at the church during the draw find themselves pulled back to mass. 

"Hopefully these people might be more inclined and come back and re-involve themselves in the actual spiritual part of St. Kevin's Parish."

A balance sheet shows how much money was made on Chase the Ace by St. Kevin's Parish. (Andrew Sampson/CBC)

About the Author

Andrew Sampson

Andrew Sampson is a journalist with CBC News in St. John's.