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Dramatic end expected for long-running Chase the Ace at Newfoundland church hall

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Organizers say as many as 100,000 people are expected as the much-watched Chase the Ace draw ends Wednesday night in a church hall outside St. John's.
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ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Organizers say as many as 100,000 people are expected as the much-watched Chase the Ace draw ends Wednesday night in a church hall outside St. John's.

The provincial government has declared the ace of spades must be drawn Wednesday in Goulds, N.L. — there could be multiple draws until someone has been declared the winner of a jackpot worth $2.5 million or more.

Goulds has been inundated with Chase the Ace crowds most Wednesdays this summer, buying numbered tickets for about $5 each to vie for the life-changing jackpot.

Organizers have said they didn't want the draw to interfere with school, which starts in early September in the building next door to St. Kevin's Parish hall, and the province announced its "exit plan" when a winner failed to emerge last week.

Similar draws have been held across Atlantic Canada in recent years with varying success — some lost money for their charities while others that lingered for months saw entire towns effectively shut down by the hoopla as jackpots grew.

In Chase the Ace, the winner gets a percentage of total ticket sales and a bigger jackpot if they pull the ace of spades from a deck of cards that gets smaller with each draw.

Organizer Keith Lee said there was almost 70,000 people last week, and there could be as many as 100,000 this week.

"How long will it go? Who knows? It could be over at 8:30, 9, or it could go on," he said Tuesday.

The Canadian Press



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