Nova Scotia

Chase the Ace's community winners start spending windfall

It's a happy holiday season for a number of community groups in Inverness. They've started spending the windfall from this fall's wildly successful Chase the Ace lottery.

Inverness Cottage Workshop upgrades its building while legion looks at cenotaphs

Inverness Cottage Workshop client Derek Boudreau creates the tickets during lotto-mania. His workplace will benefit from the contest. (CBC)

It's a happy holiday season for a number of community groups in Inverness, N.S..

They've started spending the windfall from this fall's wildly successful Chase the Ace lottery.

Thousands of people flocked to Inverness to take part in the lottery. While one lucky winner took home $1.7 million, plenty of others benefited too. Primarily the Inverness legion and the Inverness Cottage Workshop. 

Both organizations pocketed $1.2 million by splitting the ticket sales, minus costs. 

"We had no idea what the results of Chase the Ace would be," said Cindy O'Neill, the executive director of the Cottage Workshop. "We certainly didn't think it would be over a million dollars."

The cottage workshop began a major renovation and expansion of its building this week. The former railway station now offers support for intellectually and developmentally disabled adults. 

Cenotaphs, legions and food banks

The legion has also started distributing some of its share of the proceeds.

Spokesman Cameron MacQuarrie says some of the money has been set aside for legions and cenotaphs in the area and for a legion contingency fund.

He says other funds have been disbursed to groups ranging from nursing homes to fire departments and food banks.

"It is a lot of money, and we do want to do the right thing by distributing as much as we can to those needy organizations," said MacQuarrie.

He said the legion developed a series of guidelines and policy statements to govern how the money would be distributed.

He said more will be given out in the new year.

Meanwhile, the latest version of Chase the Ace is underway in Inverness. Three weeks in, the jackpot sits at $7,600.

That's a far cry from this fall's winning jackpot, but as MacQuarrie says, "Who knows where it will end up?"

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