An Emo resident recently won the largest jackpot to date for the district's “Catch the Ace” lottery.
Over the last 23 weeks, the pot has been building and last Friday, Gerry Allan won approximately $16,400.
“Catch the Ace” is a locally operated lottery, where tickets are sold each week and a winner is drawn.
Twenty percent of the money made off ticket sales goes to the weekly winner, while 30 percent goes into the jackpot and 50 percent goes towards a charity.
“Catch the Ace" has most recently been donating money to the 4-H Club's "Ag in the Classroom” program.
The funds will help 4-H and the Rainy River Ag Society redesign their exhibition hall and food booth at the Emo Fairgrounds,
“4-H and 'Ag in the Classroom' are hopefully keeping the youth interested [in agriculture],” said committee member Kim Jo Bliss.
“Youth in 4-H will very likely be our future generation of farmers,” she added.
The committee wants to continue the local lottery, with plans of starting it back up after the Easter long weekend.
“We're taking the week off and reapplying for our license, then we will start again next week,” said Bliss.
She admits running the lottery week after week is a lot of work but the response she has gotten from the communities makes it all worthwhile.
“We've had a really good response, and really good feedback, A lot of people were saying, 'Please do it again, it's fun. It involves the whole community and everybody wants to have cash,'” Bliss enthused.
At the start of this round's jackpot, the committee was able to sell close to a 1,000 tickets a week and by the end they were selling around 2,500.
The committee often finds themselves equally excited as the players whenever they announce a new winner.
“For us as a committee, it's just as suspenseful because we truly don't know where [the ace] is,” said Bliss.
The “Catch the Ace” committee is currently looking for new members or people who can volunteer with selling and organizing the tickets.
Anyone interested is asked to e-mail Bliss at firstname.lastname@example.org
She encourages everybody to “join in on the fun.”
Tickets are sold for $2 each.