Russell’s ‘Catch the Ace’ lottery jackpot grows to more than $16,500

Michel Marion, winner of the latest weekly 'Catch the Ace' lottery draw operated by the Kin Club of Russell. Marion failed to pull the ace of spades though, so the main jackpot continues to grow. Courtesy photo

Kin Club initiative helping with community’s new sports dome and other causes

EMBRUN — Michel Marion was the weekly cash winner in Russell’s “Catch the Ace” lottery draw, collecting his cheque on March 18. But Marion failed to select the envelope containing the ace of spades, sending next week’s jackpot in the Kin Club of Russell lottery over the $16,500 mark.

It’s the 27th consecutive week the jackpot card has gone undiscovered, leaving just 25 unopened envelopes to go.

As the excitement builds, Marion’s co-workers at NAPA Auto Parts Embrun have shifted their joint lottery purchases into Catch the Ace tickets — after seeing their colleague get his shot at the jackpot while collecting this week’s draw tally — $859 . All proceeds go back into the Township of Russell.

The Kin Club has been holding the series of draws (lottery licence M789330) at Étienne Brûlé Brewery in Embrun.

The only progressive-jackpot community lottery of its kind in Eastern Ontario, the Russell version is based on “Chase the Ace” lotteries that have proven popular in Eastern Canada, where small-town jackpots have occasionally surged into the millions of dollars, according to Club executive member Doug Anthony.

“It’s been really successful,” says Anthony, adding the Club has so far generated $26,000 in prize money (and a corresponding amount in funds raised), toward a potential licenced maximum of $50,000. Getting the paperwork and application in order for the endeavour took the Club’s secretary a year of effort, he says. (The Club also plans a follow-up Catch the Ace, he says, one with a provincial licence and the potential for jackpots like those seen out east. “It could go crazy … we hope.”)

Sports dome and other causes supported

Funds raised will go toward the Russell Reality Tour drug prevention and awareness program, Cystic Fibrosis Canada and youth sports equipment for the newly built Russell Township Sports Dome. The latter $4.8-million project opened its doors in January, the culmination of a Russell Kin Club lobbying effort that began late in 2014.

In just over a year, the Club has coordinated private fundraising efforts that generated over $350,000 to date for the 60,000 square foot dome that features volleyball, tennis, basketball, pickleball, and walking path facilities, combined with an adjoining change room and restaurant building. The balance of funding came from township development charges, says Anthony, adding the municipality did an “amazing job” on constructing dome, where an official ribbon-cutting is scheduled May 5.

“There was a lineup at the door at five in the morning when they opened on January the 8th,” he recalls. “The parking lot is full all day long.”

Tickets for Catch the Ace

At $5 apiece, buy tickets for the local lottery at Étienne Brûlé Brewery, Russell Foodland, Pronto Convenience in Russell, or at Pierre et Fils in Embrun. Tickets can also be purchased from Kin Club of Russell members by contacting or 613-445- 6483. For buyers further afield, the Club accepts e-mail transfers of funds and will complete your tickets for you.
One dollar per ticket goes into the weekly draw, while 30 percent of sales top up the main jackpot each week until the ace of spades is found. Anthony also points out that draw winners do not need to be on site to participate in the game. Ticket buyers attempt to “Catch the Ace” by indicating a remaining envelope number at the time of ticket purchase.


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