JOHN’S, N.L. — A couple from Conception Bay South, N.L., are the province’s newest millionaires after finally drawing the elusive ace of spades.
Don and Marg Gorman pulled the card in the second round of the Wednesday night Chase the Ace draw, taking home $2.6 million.
Don, who works for the town of Conception Bay South, said he isn’t planning to leave work after winning the jackpot.
“I certainly will be,” laughed Marg as the couple was swarmed by the media.
Their win marked the end for the local lottery that lasted more than 44 weeks and captured national attention.
Hundreds of people piled into the St. Kevin’s Parish hall in Goulds, N.L., as organizer Carol O’Brien drew the winning tickets.
More than 60,000 others descended on Goulds, waiting for the number to be called. People began lining up before dawn at the hall, and the line was already a kilometre long by 7:30 a.m. local time.
Don appeared to be shell-shocked as he tried to answer questions about what he would do with his winnings.
“I’m not sure yet,” he said. “Four of us are in on it, including my son.”
Earlier, Glen Stokes from Mount Pearl, N.L., drew the 10 of spades and received more than $437,000 as the consolation prize. He and his wife, Rosalie, said they had been playing for four weeks.
Goulds has been inundated with Chase the Ace crowds most Wednesdays this summer, buying numbered tickets for about $5 each to vie for the life-changing jackpot.
The province had declared the ace of spades had to be drawn Wednesday night, suggesting there could be multiple draws until someone was declared the winner.
Marjorie Williams of Kilbride, N.L., won the least amount Wednesday night, but appeared to be the most animated.
“Oh my God. Oh my god. I can’t believe I won,” she said, jumping up and down on the stage.
Williams ticket was drawn for the 50-50 prize of a little more than $427,000.
She said there were six people on the ticket.
“We’ve been here for weeks and it’s been a long haul, but it was worth it,” said Williams.
O’Brien said the funds from the lottery fundraiser will be spent on the cemetery, church tower, the food bank and regular maintenance.
Organizers say they will know how much money the lottery raised in a couple of days.