Clyde Barteaux’s daughter Olivia texted him to get 10 Chase the Ace tickets for her. He did that and bought 10 for himself – and won $364,000.
Olivia and her two sisters won’t have to worry about paying off their student loans, Dad’s got that covered.
The April 3 draw was a climactic end to a year-long Chase the Ace at the Annapolis Royal Volunteer Fire Department that went right down to three cards. Barteaux was at the nearby Legion that had opened as an overflow location for the Wednesday evening event and watched on Facebook Live as his ticket was drawn.
He arrived at the fire hall a few minutes later with a one in three chance to take it all. And he did. He picked the third card in a row of three laid out by firefighter Alex Cranton. The two remaining cards were the queen of clubs and the six of hearts. When it was all over, Barteaux took the ace with intentions of framing it.
“I feel extremely good,” he said minutes after he won. “I’ll probably fall over but I’m still standing. I have three daughters, all through university and I paid for a lot of it already but not all of it. I’m going to look after the rest of it.”
Ticket sales for the April 3 draw climbed to $203,758 and the jackpot jumped from an estimated $307,000 to $324,171.90. And Barteaux would have won $40,751.60 (20 per cent of ticket sales) just for having his ticket drawn. Add that to the jackpot and Barteaux walked away with $364,923.50.
“We would have been happy if anybody won it, but it turns out a local guy that we know won and we’ll see him on the streets going forward and I’m sure it’s going to be a great story for a long time,” said Chase the Ace organizer firefighter Matthew Smith.
Barteaux, from Moschelle, is a veteran of the ARVFD and a well-known and respected architect. When Barteaux walked into the fire hall, the crowd cheered. Smith said that’s indicative of the spirit of the community during this lengthy fundraiser.
“Absolutely it is,” he said. “They’ve really been cheering loud when the ace doesn’t get turned over, and I was really unsure what the crowd’s reaction would be when it finely did, and I’m pleasantly surprised that everybody gave a good cheer and a standing ovation. I’m sure anybody here would have loved to have won that money, but finally the money’s been won. It’s been a fun ride. It’s been a good time.”
Many of the several hundred people packed into the fire hall shook Barteaux’s hand and congratulated him. In the end, over the year-long fundraiser, the fire department gave away more than half a million dollars, including the April 3 win by Barteaux.
The weekly draws were watched on Facebook Live by thousands of people from as far away as Las Vegas, Florida, and even New Zealand.
“I think it’s a great thing. It’s been tremendous what this whole event has done for the fire department and anybody that participates in this, God bless them for the time they put into it,” said Barteaux. “People don’t realize how much behind the scenes times goes into putting something like this on. I don’t have to speak for Matthew, he can tell you a lot more than I can, but I know that for a fact it’s a lot of work and a lot of effort that goes into this. And it’s well-deserved money that the fire department gets back. I hope they buy a lot of nice equipment with it.”
“After a year’s worth of work and a lot of time and effort we finally gave the money away, which is something we didn’t think would take this long to do, but we’re very thankful and grateful that it did,” said Smith. “We had no idea at all that it would be this kind of money. Not even close. We couldn’t be happier.”
He said the ultimate goal is to get to the last card but getting down to the last three made for a fantastic year.
“We’ve had a lot of community support. A lot of fellowship in the community,” he said. “We are kind of sad that it’s ending because this has been our Wednesday night for the last year – along with a lot of other people. But we couldn’t be happier.”
“We’re going to announce really quickly on our Facebook site – what we’re planning is an open house night,” Smith said. “We do have a few little things that we purchased with some of our money already. Some smaller items. And some of the ideas of what we’re going to do with some of our money. That’s going to be key towards the open house that we’re going to have.”
They will invite Barteaux present him with a ceremonial big cheque.
“We’re going to make an evening out of it,” Smith said. “Just a way to say thank you to the community and all the people who have supported this thing all the way through.”
Was the Wednesday night win the end of Chase the Ace in Annapolis Royal?
“We take a little break,” he said. “I’m under the understanding that the Annapolis Royal Legion will be starting one in the coming months and all of us here at the Annapolis Royal Fire Department are wishing them well and we’re all ready to go over and play their Chase the Ace and support theirs. So for a little while we get to be on the other side of that ace.”