Printing error leads to two winners in 'Chase the Ace' draw
Published Monday, March 14, 2016 8:15AM EDT
A drama unfolded in Sydney, N.S. over the weekend, when two women produced winning tickets for the "Chase the Ace" draw.
Angie Willems was the first to come forward with a winning ticket at the Ashby Legion on Saturday. Confusion and chaos took over when Marie Matthys also came forward with a winning ticket.
The gathered crowd waited nervously, until organizers determined that there was a printing error and the two women were indeed both winners.
According to Nova Scotia Alcohol and Gaming regulations, the two women should have split the prize money valued at $229,230. However, the presenting charities made a different decision.
The Ashby Legion and the Horizon Achievement Centre gave up their cuts of the pot, so that each woman would walk away with the full amount. They were also given a single chance to draw for the ace of spades. They drew the eight of hearts instead, missing out on the larger $1.1 million-jackpot.
Matthys said she isn't upset that they didn't win the bigger prize. "How can you be sad when you're holding a cheque for $230,000," she told CTV Atlantic.
Both winners say they don't have any big plans for their money. One says they'll buy a new SUV, and the other says she'll put some towards her son's wedding.
“Chase the Ace” organizer Stephen Tobin said it was ultimately up to the charities to give up their cut of the money.
"It came down to a decision between the charities, and ultimately we felt it was the best decision, it was the fairest decision," he said.
He said the organizers are "very comfortable" that no fraudulent activity took place, but they are looking at a plan to make sure a similar incident doesn't happen again.
The dramatic affair has brought the two women close together, and they are becoming fast friends. They discovered they live mere kilometres apart and have much in common.
"We seem to have common interests and common beliefs," Matthys said.
Willems added, "I will be up for tea."
They both say they'll be playing in next weekend's draw, with an estimated jackpot of $1.3 million.
"I don't expect that I'm going to win, I'd feel very greedy," Matthys said. "But we have to give back."
The wildly popular "Chase the Ace" fundraiser is part 50-50 draw and part luck of the cards.
Participants buy five-dollar tickets and are entered in a draw. Organizers select one ticket from the pool, and the winner automatically gets 20 per cent of the money that's been raised. Meanwhile, 50 per cent of the money goes to charity, and the remaining 30 per cent is added to building the jackpot.
In addition to winning 20 per cent of the money, the winning-ticket holder is invited to draw a card from a standard 52-card deck. If they draw the ace of spades, they win the jackpot.
With a report by CTV Atlantic's Ryan MacDonald