Anne Hourigan may not have lived in Almonte for 40 years now but she still considers it her home. She grew up in Almonte, living on Queen Street for a big part of her life, and attended Almonte High School. “I still have lots of friends there,” said Hourigan, who now lives in Ottawa. “That’s why I play, to support my little town.”
And support she did. Hourigan has been playing Catch the Ace Almonte, in support of the Almonte Legion, Branch 240, and the Almonte General Hospital Fairview Manor Foundation, since it began in 2020. Over the past two years, she pretty well bought tickets every single week it was offered. She also played prior to that when the Legion ran a paper-ticket-based CTA for several years prior to partnering with the local hospital and manor.
So imagine her surprise when Al Roberts, Managing Director of the AGH FVM Foundation, phoned her Tuesday, March 22, live on Facebook from the Legion, to tell her she’d ‘caught the Ace’.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Hourigan, when asked what her immediate thought was. “I didn’t recognize his name so was a little suspicious at first but when he kept talking and seemed to know I’d played regularly, then I thought it was real.” She went on to say, “I never win anything!”
Hourigan received her check for $37,563 on Monday, March 29. She collected the weekly prize of $1,002 and the week 29, progressive jackpot of $36,561. Her winning number was 5283044. She had chosen envelope #15 which contained the elusive Ace of Spades. She wasn’t sure what she’d do with her winnings but hoped to take a trip if things continue to open again.
Thanks to the community’s enthusiastic support of the online raffle, the Legion and AGH FVM Foundation have raised over $70,000.
“These funds have been so important during the past 24 months,” said Branch 240 president Rob Madore. “As a result of COVID, we’ve been closed more than open, but these funds have allowed us to provide support to veterans and youth, and put on community programs.”
“We will be purchasing equipment for the hospital and manor,” said foundation vice-chair Julie Munro. “This year, on top of raising funds for our CT scan campaign, we have raised enough money to purchase urgently needed pieces of equipment like specialized mattresses, defibrillators, shower chairs and specialized stretchers. Buying tickets has made a big difference for our patients and residents.” Funds raised by the Foundation help fund clinical equipment which, surprisingly, is not part of the funding provided by the provincial government.
Both organizations want to thank all of the supporters of Catch the Ace Almonte. Players should stay tuned for a re-launch in the next few months.