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Fake ‘Catch the Ace’ tickets reportedly being sold in Hagersville

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Organizers of the ‘Catch the Ace’ lottery in Hagersville are warning the public about fake tickets being sold in the community.

The wildly popular game has gone 44 weeks without a winner and the grand prize is now an estimated $1.7 million.

“It’s crazy,” said committee vice-chair Tanya Ribbink. “When we started the first night the jackpot was maybe $100. There’s people buying from Alberta and Manitoba. We’ve heard of people crossing the border.”

‘Catch the Ace’ is a progressive raffle where the players purchase tickets to guess which envelope contains the ace of spades. Until it’s found, money keeps going into the pot.

Tickets can only be purchased in-person on Thursdays at the Hagersville legion so the community has seen long lineups and measures have been implemented to ensure community safety.

As anticipation grows, officials are also on the lookout for fraudsters trying to sell fake tickets to the public.

“A lady had reached out to me through Facebook, asking if the tickets she bought at he local grocery store parking lot were legit or not,” said Ribbink. “She bought 20 dollars worth of tickets. She did say there was a lineup of people that were buying tickets.”

Earlier this week the Hagersville and District Lions Club, the group behind the event, notified its members of a Facebook page falsely impersonating the ‘Catch the Ace’ organizing team.

“They’ve been sending out friend requests to multiple people,” Ribbink added.

The club said the fake account was reported and later taken down.

Provincial police were also notified earlier this month.

“We’re asking anyone, that if there’s any information regarding ticket sales, please pick up that phone and have the courage to contact OPP,” said Const. Ed Sanchuk.

Only tickets purchased directly from the legion are valid.

“People say, ‘Oh, I have tickets for next week’s draw. I can’t make it, I have to sell them,’” Ribbink explained. “If someone said they have tickets that they bought and they can’t use, it’s not true.”

More than 132,000 tickets were sold this week and the legion said each one has three points of security to ensure it’s valid.

Tickets are $10 each (or three for $20) and can only be purchased in-person at the Hagersville legion on Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 .m.

The ‘Catch the Ace’ draw happens every Thursday at 8 p.m. and can be viewed here.

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