If you were wondering where the majority of the town was last Wednesday, you didn’t need to look any further than the Legion Hall. You might have thought the soldout Elvis tribute concert came early because there was nowhere to park within 800 metres of the building. But it was all for a good reason as there was nearly $30,000 up for grabs at Chase The Ace.
Hundreds packed the hall, with some even making the drive from Medicine Hat to attend as anticipation grew for who might be the lucky person to draw the ace.
The first lucky draw saw Paulette White claim a per cent of the total — close to $3,000. White has been a Maple Creek resident for a little more than a year, making the move from Calgary.
Another four names were called after White, but luck was unfortunately was not on their side. It took six draws total before a winner several months in the naking was found.
“I just went up and pointed to the card I wanted, and I turned around and said ‘is this what you are looking for?’ then the bell rang for the winner, and my legs just went to rubber, and I started shaking,” Rob Zinger said.
Zinger is the first winner of the Chase The Ace Jackpot and brought home a whopping $29,000. The Mainline mechanic had a feeling earlier that day he would draw the ace.
“Before I went for supper that night I told my friends I would be winning tonight if my name was drawn,” he said. “As soon I was getting closer to the cards I just had a feeling.”
It was a night of celebration for Zinger’s family and friends who were ecstatic about the win, but it took Rob until the next morning to really realize what had just happened.
“My wife and my friends were probably happier than I was. I don’t think it sunk in till the next morning when I went and deposited the money, and it was nice,” he said.
But don’t expect Zinger to start splurging on big items and vacations as his focus is his wife and the grandkids.
“I’m going to get the wife a new carpet. The main thing is she’s been waiting a few years for new carpets, so I said we could get that. Also, buy the grandkids a few Christmas presents and pay some bills,” he said.
Overall, Zinger says the money gives him a much-needed peace of mind and helps do things around the house that otherwise could not get done. He’s not a big gambler by any means, and for him, like many others that attend Chase The Ace, it’s a fun time just to chat and hang out.
Chase the Ace raised more than $45,000 for the Legion. Some of that money will go back into the community while some will be used for making the bathrooms at the hall handicap accessible. Chase the Ace will resume again tomorrow with another 52 cards, and the jackpot will begin at $500.
NEWS PHOTO FACUNDO RODRIGUEZ
Rob Zinger being presented a cheque for $29,835.00 from June Madson of Legion Hall.