Making money moves: St. Kevin's Parish cashes in $5.8 million in Chase the Ace earnings
$6.5 million in prizes given out during church fundraiser
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.
"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.
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
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.
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."
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.
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."