HHOA wants you to Catch the Ace
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | July 20, 2017
There’s a new lottery in town, but not everyone knows about it.
Catch the Ace began 10 weeks ago and since then it’s handed out more than $1,000 to lucky winners. But with a progressive jackpot in the mix, there’s a lot more cash up for grabs.
“Our committee has been struggling on how to make it simpler and get the idea out there,” said Rusty Rustenberg, vice-president of the Haliburton Highlands Outdoors Association (HHOA).
The idea originated from the East Coast and was pitched to the HHOA by member Keith Hodgson, explained Rustenberg. There it’s known as Chase the Ace and it raised enough money to put a new roof on a church.
Chase the Ace was first licensed in Nova Scotia in 2012, according to media reports.
“This is a pilot with the [Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario] this year,” said Rustenberg.
The HHOA received one of 20 or so licenses issued this year, he said.
A draw is held every Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the fish hatchery. Everyone who buys a ticket before noon that day will have a chance to win 20 per cent of the share of ticket sales plus a shot at the progressive jackpot, which exceeded $2,500 last week. Thirty per cent of sales contribute to this pot.
Ticket buyers select a number between one and 52. That’s because there’s a lock box with 52 envelopes that contain cards from a deck. If the ace of spades is drawn, the winner gets the progressive jackpot, thereby ending the lottery.
For example, on July 12, Wendy Bateman won $175 when her ticket was drawn. But she didn’t win the big jackpot since her envelope, number 13, contained the three of diamonds.
In the event your envelope is empty, the person doing the draw will either go to the next available envelope below or above it based on whether you checked “higher” or “lower” on your ticket.
Half the proceeds go to charity with 40 per cent going to the HHOA, 40 per cent to Canoe FM and 20 per cent to the Haliburton Highlands Resource Centre.
The HHOA will allocate the money to operating costs, which includes keeping the lights on at the fish hatchery. Canoe FM is a partner because they help distribute tickets at some of the locations they sell Radio Bingo tickets. And the resource centre is a charitable arm of the HHOA that can give money to other charities, said Rustenberg.
“We want to spread it out because people have been so good to us over the year.”
The HHOA was founded in 1992 to support tourism and the economy, promote hunting and fishing, help improve wildlife and fish habitats, and educate the public about game and fish habitats. In the last nine years, its volunteers have raised and stocked more than half-a-million fish in local lakes, including the unique Haliburton Gold lake trout.
Lottery tickets are $5 each and can be purchased at 13 locations across the county. For more information, call the HHOA at 705-457-9664 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.