Why Newfoundlanders Are Losing Their Mind Over A Church Fundrasier

    Chase The Ace!

    Newfoundland is losing its damn mind over a game of Chase The Ace. And if you're wondering what that is, hang on to your pants, b'ys.

    Chase The Ace is a lottery-style fundraiser, in this case being put on by St. Kevin's Parish in Goulds, Newfoundland, part of the capital city of St. John's.

    Facebook: stkevinsparish

    It works like this. People buy tickets (3 for $5), with each purchase raising the total jackpot. Every Wednesday, one lucky person's number is drawn, and they get to draw from a deck of playing cards. If they get the ace of spades, they win the whole jackpot.

    If they get another card, they get a 20% consolation prize, and the big jackpot prize rolls over to the next week with a smaller deck of cards.

    In the end, 50% of the proceeds go back to the church.

    Well, this game has been going on for 42 weeks without the ace appearing, and now the jackpot is estimated to be around $1.5 million.

    Paramount Pictures

    So, naturally, people are losing their minds.

    Bys in the Goulds today! #chasetheace #newfoundland #yyt #home

    Zach Goudie, who has been reporting on Chase The Ace for CBC News, tells BuzzFeed Canada thousands of people have been flocking to the parish to get tickets.

    A little #realtalk from @zachgoudie about #ChasetheAce controversy

    "The average game with 52 cards in a deck of cards will last 26 weeks," he said. "This game now only has 11 cards left in the deck."

    "I’ve see it get to the point where people are waiting several hours in sweltering heat just to get a ticket," said Goudie.

    Cash pours in, tickets pour out #ChaseTheAce

    "The thing is the size of a small summer festival every week."

    Facebook: stkevinsparish

    Organizers have had to bring in porta-potties for the massive crowds and a temporary cell phone tower has gone up to cope with the increased demand.

    Traffic has been a nightmare, too. Goudie said there are two roads in and out of Goulds, so once tickets are bought, people end up spending the day in town because they can't get back out.

    There's essentially Chase The Ace tailgating going on.

    Lawn drinking in #dagoulds because its #chasetheace

    People appear to be camping out for a shot at the jackpot.

    These campers are literally chasing the Ace! At the last game I saw a couple RVs, today I count at least 8 at St. K… https://t.co/tQLhhAaNXz

    Pretty much the entire region has been swept up in Chase The Ace fever.

    Our #ChasetheAce truffles will be a win for your tastebuds! Made with white chocolate, blueberry & raspberry. Avail… https://t.co/2KAhzwwSlw

    But it can't go on forever. The parish is located next to a school, and there's no way to host thousands of ticket-buyers once the academic year begins.

    Better hope someone finds that ace soon.

    Lauren Strapagiel is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.

    Contact Lauren Strapagiel at lauren.strapagiel@buzzfeed.com.

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