Chase the Ace craze creates record-high jackpot of nearly $1.9 million
Pam Lesnick holds up a cheque for $263,000 after having her Chase the Ace ticket drawn on Saturday, April 3, 2016.
The ace in Sydney has lived to see another week after a woman drew the queen of hearts, taking home over $263,000 in the process.
"All of a sudden I looked and I kind of went blank,” said winner Pam Lesnick. “I couldn't believe it was it, I got shocked."
Lesnick insists the money isn’t hers, and it will go to her friend Marie Osmond of Summerside.
"My girlfriend in P.E.I., I bought tickets for her. I bought all the tickets. I put names on everybody's and it just happened that her name was on that one. My kids are going hear that I won the money, but I didn't."
The new jackpot could see someone take home $1.9 million, surpassing the $1.77 million last fall in Inverness, N.S., that many thought would never be topped.
“We have officially become the highest jackpot for a raffle lottery in Atlantic Canada,” said organizer Stephen Tobin. “That I know of. It's tantalizingly close to that $2 million dollar mark."
It’s a new watershed moment for the Chase the Ace phenomenon that has taken the Maritimes by storm – particularly in Cape Breton.
"The pure culture of Cape Bretoners, we come together for great causes,” said Tobin. “We know how to have a good time. It's more than just a lottery. I think Cape Bretoners specifically enjoy this type of game, and it's become such a huge celebration here in Sydney."
Seven cards will be left for Saturday’s draw.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ryan MacDonald.