Nova Scotia

Chase the Ace in Inverness: 7 things to know

Key things to know about the charity fundraiser that has managed to build a six-figure jackpot

With the jackpot now in excess of $600K, Chase the Ace excitement is reaching fever pitch

1. What is it?

Chase the Ace is something like a 50-50 draw, but instead of winning half the value of the ticket sales, the winning ticket holder receives a smaller cut of the take and a chance to draw the ace of spades from a deck of regular playing cards to win the jackpot.

Half the money raised goes to the organization behind the draw, 20 per cent to the weekly winner and 30 per cent is funnelled into the big prize. The jackpot builds until someone does draw the ace of spades, meaning the contest can run as long as 52 weeks.

The Inverness Chase the Ace is going on 45 weeks without a jackpot winner. 

2. How did it get started? 

This kind of fundraiser has gained popularity in parts of the Maritimes and Newfoundland in recent years. Inverness has been holding Chase the Ace contests for the past two years. The tiny village of Noel in Hants County, N.S., started their own Chase the Ace in 2013 after borrowing the idea from a fundraiser in Inuvik, N.W.T. 

3. How do people take part?

Get ready to line up.

For the Saturday, Sept. 12 draw, tickets will be sold from noon to 5 p.m. at the Legion Hall and at the arena in Inverness. Anyone who buys a ticket will be entered into the draw. Last week, some people arrived at 7 a.m. to ensure they had a chance to play. Tickets are $5 a pop. 

4. Where is the money raised going?

Proceeds go to the Inverness Cottage Workshop, a charity for people with disabilities and the Inverness chapter of the Royal Canadian Legion. The Cottage Workshop plans to use the money raised for a new facility

5. Where is it?

Inverness is about a four-hour drive from Halifax, or a two-hour drive from Sydney. People have been descending on the village from all over the province for a shot at the jackpot. So many cars have been flowing into the village for Chase the Ace that the RCMP have put parking restrictions in place. Here's some advice on where to park from the Legion:

  • Parking restrictions are in effect along Route 19, Maple Street and Forest Street. Violators will be towed at owner's expense.
  • Free parking is available at the arena and Inverness Academy.
  • Paid parking is available at the racetrack with an entrance from Maple Street.

6. Can people outside Inverness play? 

Some people have been asking people who are going to purchase tickets on their behalf. You just really have to trust the person to give the winnings to you. But this guy did. 

7. What's the prize? 

For the Sept. 5 draw, there was a $136,344 weekly prize, and the upcoming draw is expected to surpass that. The jackpot for this weekend's draw could reach a million dollars. It will be $601,837.48 plus 30 per cent of the ticket sales for the day.

In Photos: Inverness Chase the Ace, Sept. 5
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