Nova Scotia

Chase the Ace jackpot worth $1.2M not won in Inverness

A Nova Scotia woman walked away with $235,132.60 after her raffle ticket was drawn at Chase the Ace in Inverness, but she didn't pick the ace — so the fundraising lottery will live on for another week.

Saturday's ticket sales totalled $1,175,663, but the ace of spades lives to see another day

Carol Hartling had the winning ticket, but didn't manage to pick the ace of spades. 1:06

A Nova Scotia woman walked away with $235,132.60 after her raffle ticket was drawn at Chase the Ace in Inverness, but she didn't pick the ace — so the fundraising lottery will live on for another week.

Carol Hartling, of Westville, was one of thousands of people who descended on Inverness on Saturday. She had a shot at drawing the ace of spades from six cards, but didn't.

That means the jackpot, now worth $1,236,846.66, is still unclaimed.

Hartling — who drew the nine of hearts — says she'll be back in Inverness next week.

"It's overwhelming, it's exciting," she told reporters after the draw.

"Initially I wanted to come get the ace and go home and then go straight to the Harley shop and get a new motorcycle. But that ain't happening with this. I think I might have to get a little house or something. I don't even know."

Saturday's ticket sales totalled $1,175,663. The legion will take 50 per cent of those winnings and split it with the Inverness Cottage Workshop, which provides vocational and skill development for adults with intellectual disabilities.

Hartling got 20 per cent of that total and the remaining 30 per cent went into the jackpot.

Even though there are five cards still left in the deck, organizers say Chase the Ace will end next week.

Next Saturday, if the first winning ticket holder doesn't draw the ace, organizers will continue to pull raffle tickets until the ace is picked.

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      Fundraiser has gone on for 47 weeks

      The Inverness legion, which has now organized the fundraiser over 47 weeks and recently expanded it to three co-ordinated sites, says $66,000 worth of tickets were sold in the first 15 minutes of sales on Saturday.

      Earlier this week, the legion's vice-president said they're expecting about 15,000 people to attend Saturday's draw. That's 10 times the population of the community of Inverness.

      "Especially with the extra room here, we're expecting a much larger increase than our regular 20 per cent per week that we had been building by," said Cameron MacQuarrie, the legion's vice-president.

      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.

      Every Saturday, half of the money raised goes to the organization behind the draw, 20 per cent to the weekly winner and 30 per cent funnelled into the big prize. The jackpot builds until someone does draw the ace of spades.

      The CBC's Stephanie vanKampen was in Inverness to capture the excitement.

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