Brockville, Ont. man catches the ace for $718K win in Kin Club of Russell lottery

Doug and Cindy Anthony let Shawn Stephenson of Brockville, Ont., know he's caught the ace live on Facebook in the Kin Club of Russell's long-running progressive jackpot. via Kin Club of Russell / Facebook

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story misidentified Shawn Stephenson.

It took 50 draws, but the ace of spades couldn’t hide forever. The Kin Club of Russell’s catch-the-ace lottery finally wrapped up on Sunday after raising nearly a million dollars for charity.

Shawn Stephenson of Brockville, Ont., took home a total jackpot of $718,466.50 after he won that week’s $51,529 draw on Sunday afternoon, as his pick for the accumulated $666,937.50 grand prize, envelope No. 4, also held the elusive ace of spades.

Kin Club president Doug Anthony opened the envelope live on Facebook with Stephenson (and his mother) on the line. Before revealing the big win, he asked him where he does his banking, turning Scotiabank’s “you’re richer than you think” tagline into a very literal revelation.

The Kin Club’s catch-the-ace lottery — a format that sees the jackpot rise every week that the ace of spades goes unfound — saw 49 weeks go by without a grand prize winner.

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The progressive lottery was put on hold numerous times throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but the longer it ran, the more it became a sensation across the province. Ontario changed legislation in recent years to allow organizations to run 50-50 draws online and sell tickets provincewide, letting buyers from more than 350 communities chip in to try their luck.

Anthony told Global News that online draws during the pandemic spurred a flurry of excitement in Russell and at the local Kin Club, which before then had typically raised around $50,000 total with a good draw.

“It’s getting really crazy. We’ve marketed the hell out of it,” he said in March. “We’re really reaping the benefits.”

With the funds raised going to charity, the Kin Club’s third catch-the-ace lottery raised roughly $972,000 for its partners: Breast Cancer Action (Ottawa), Cystic Fibrosis Canada, Osgoode Care Centre, Russell Minor Hockey Association, Valoris Foundation and Winchester District Memorial Hospital Foundation.

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