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Wekweeti woman wins $162K Chase the Ace prize

Arlene Football shows of the winning card Friday evening at the Monkey Tree Pub. photo sourced from Facebook

A Wekweeti woman is much richer after winning the Yellowknife Gymnastics Club’s Chase the Ace fundraiser in front a large and loud crowd at the Monkey Tree Pub on Friday.

Adeline Football, a community director with the Tlicho government, is walking away with $160,000 after pulling the ace of spades.

Arlene Football shows of the winning card Friday evening at the Monkey Tree Pub. photo sourced from Facebook

“I've never won anything like this before,” said Football. “After I pulled it I cried, I was so excited... I still didn't believe it the next morning when I woke up.”

Lottery-made hopefuls from across the territory bought up about $150,000 worth of tickets at venues across the city on Friday.

After her first ticket was selected from many thousands of entries, she made no mistake and pulled the ace of spades, the coveted card that won her the grand prize. There were only 10 cards left in the deck.

She is still deciding what to do with the money, but is planning on setting some of it aside for her children and to help support her parents and in-laws, she said.

“I'm still not sure what I'm going to do with it, but I've already paid off my bills,” said Football.

The victory comes at an opportune time for Football, as she was in town to purchase groceries before the winter road to her home community closes for the season, she said.

She gets half the pot. The other half will be going to the Yellowknife Gymnastics Club, which will be purchasing new gym equipment.

“We have a wish list of things we want and now it's just seeing what we can get,” said gymnastics club spokesperson Jessica Gravel. “It's expensive to get the equipment up here, so it's a puzzle to see what we can fit in a truck.”

The club is hoping to purchase new balance beams, uneven bars and ropes, she said.

The club won't be pursuing a license for the next edition of Chase the Ace. Representatives from The Monkey Tree said they plan to have the next host picked by the end of this week.

As for Football, she has been taking her victory in stride and fielding a lot of phone calls.

“Lots of friends and family have been calling,” Football says “I've stopped taking calls from unknown numbers, there's just been too many!”