CENTREVILLE-WAREHAM-TRINITY, NL – Sheldon Hann of Musgrave Harbour entered the Green Acres Lounge in Centerville-Wareham-Trinity pumping his fist in the air.
He was greeted with applause and cheers fit for a prize fighter.
Hann was about to go a round with the remaining six cards in the ongoing Chase the Ace fundraiser hosted by Indian Bay ATV Association and C-W-T recreation. The prize money – $131,140.
Organizer Corey Pickett dealt up the cards and spread them out, allowing Hann to pick his fate.
Slowly, Pickett turned up the card, so Hann could be the first to see it.
Hann raised his arms in the air and let out a yell.
He had done what 46 people before him couldn’t – he found elusive the ace of spades to claim the jackpot.
“It feels like my heart is beating out of my body,” he said afterwards. “This is only my third time playing.”
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He’ll be splitting the prize with his mother.
Hann wasn’t the only big winner for the night. Spencer Cutler of Renews claimed the more than $13,000 prize in the 50/50 draw.
It was his first time ever participating in a Chase the Ace event.
“I was just in the area visiting my mother and father,” he said.
Cutler said his sister told him his relatives were going to try their luck, so seven family members went in on tickets.
For Pickett it was a great end to a very successful event.
All funds raised will be used to improve and maintain recreational infrastructure, and to develop and improve local trails.
“It was a great fundraiser – it’s sad to be done but it was a great run,” Pickett said.
He noted the event couldn’t have run without the volunteers, and that more than three dozen people were required to pull off Thursday night’s event.
But he doesn’t anticipate the group will be doing another one anytime soon.
“Our Lions Centre wants to do one now and there are (Chase the Ace events) happening in other communities in the area,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of area support, and now it’s time to lend support to neighbouring communities.”