“We are so pleased and also relieved,” stated Cindy Anthony, Catch the Ace committee chairwoman, the long-running lottery. “We are so happy for our worthy charities and all the support we’ve received across the entire province.”
The Russell Kin Club’s third Catch the Ace lottery began in September 2019 and continued on through the first year of the pandemic, for a total of 679 days before Stephenson, a Brockville resident, drew the winning Ace of Spades on the July 18 2021 Sunday video draw.
His card earned him the $666,937.50 total jackpot, plus the weekly prize win of $51,529, giving him a final payout of $714,466.50. Three envelopes were left on the table after Stephenson’s Ace turned up.
“This one will set a record as the longest Catch the Ace lottery ever,” stated Bill McInnis, the Catch the Ace committee member who suggested the fundraiser activity to the Russell Kin Club membership.
The Russell Kin Club raised $972,000 with its Catch the Ace lottery to provide financial aid to a variety of local and regional charities. Groups benefiting from the lottery include: Russell Minor Hockey Association, the Valoris Foundation, Winchester District Memorial Hospital Foundation, the Osgoode Care Centre, Breast Cancer Action (Ottawa chapter), and Cystic Fibrosis Canada.
Kin Club officials credit strong community support from local retailers and vendors for helping make the Catch the Ace a fundraising success by offering tickets for sale at their premises without any charge or remuneration. Those businesses include: Étienne Brulé Brewery, Embrun Convenience, Giant Tiger, Boni Choix, Au P’tit Castor, Boutique Lady Jo Gift Shop, Pharmacie Notre Dame, Russell Foodland, Pronto Convenience, Winchester Foodland, Brinston General Store, Loughlin’s Country Store, Kelly’s Boutique Ottawa, Dépanneur du Village Limoges, and The Old General Store in Crysler.
Doug Anthony, Catch the Ace website chairman and the regular announcer during the video draws, also credited one “loyal supporter” of the project who helped promote it.
“Diane Hayes did wonders with her Facebook posts,” stated Anthony, “and I cannot say enough about how courteous and supportive our buyers have been. It’s been a blast.”
The Russell KinClub has filed an application with Ontario Lotteries and Gaming Corporation for a fourth Catch the Ace lottery licence.