A new Chase the Ace lottery that was launched recently is aiming to raise money for the Hay River Golf Club and the Hay River Ski Club.

Simon Lepage, one of the organizers of the lottery, is affiliated with the ski club and said both sport facilities need upgrades.

A joint committee between the two clubs, with three people representing each club, came up with the idea of the lottery fundraiser this year.

Lepage said people can purchase a five-dollar ticket in person either at the Hay River Legion, the Doghouse Pub or Super A or through the online portal at the Hay River Chase the Ace Lottery website at https://hayrivercta.com/.

Unlike a raffle, lottery ticket sales can only be purchased between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m on Fridays.

Lepage is hoping that residents will participate to ensure enough money can go into those repairs and refurbishments.

“We (the committee) have never done the Chase the Ace before and it is the first time with online sales,” Lepage said.

“We decided to partner together because the two are located on the same lot and we always partner when we can.”

The first draw took place at the Legion on Aug. 6 with the second draw expected to have been done at the Doghouse Pub at the Ptarmigan Inn on Aug. 13.

Each of the establishments will be alternating draw locations once a week every week until the ace of spades is drawn.

Twenty per cent of the ticket sales sold each week will go toward a weekly payout which is drawn by the organizers.

Another 30 per cent of money of ticket sales raised goes into the jackpot which can be won if the winning ticket holder draws the Ace of Spades.

The remainder of the money will go toward the capital fundraiser.

Winning ticket holders for each draw will have 20 minutes to declare their winning ticket following the live draw.

“So if someone get the ace you get the price of the day plus the jackpot,” Lepage said. “If you don’t get the ace, the pot builds up.

“As the pot builds up, so hopefully will the excitement and so we hope it lasts.”

Total sales for the initial night of tickets was $1,815 with 363 sold, while the second week, organizers raised $2,535 with 507 sold.

Jeff Brockway, was the winner in week one with $363 but purposely declined to draw for the ace of spades jackpot, but removed the jack of spades.

“John from Inuvik” won on Aug. 13 and took home $507.

Not drawing for the ace allows the overall pot to build up and entices more people to get involved every week, explained co-organizer Robert Bouchard.

“We have had a few Chase the Ace lotteries here in town over the last four or five years and it is something that has started throughout the country in recent years,” he said, noting that one was held to raise money for the town hosting the 2018 Arctic Winter Games.

“We had one where the jackpot got as high as $600,000, so if the ace of spaces isn’t drawn, it can get really high and can be a good fundraiser.”

Bouchard, who is also a director with the golf club, said that the event serves a few purposes, including that both clubs need some capital investments, which is what the lottery is for.

The ski club needs new groomer and some other equipment, while the golf club needs a roof replacement and refurbishment of washroom and flooring.

“The Chase the Ace also creates a bit of buzz in the community and gets some people out and about on Friday night,” he added.

People can monitor the developments with the Chase the Ace, including the weekly draws, through the Hay River – Chase the Ace Facebook public group page.

Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. A through and through "County boy" from Prince Edward County, Ont., Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin...

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