Winner drawn for Faulkton’s $1.8 million ‘Chase the Ace’

Published: Apr. 29, 2021 at 5:55 PM CDT
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FAULKTON, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - People from across the area poured into Faulkton Wednesday evening, and thousands more watched online, as the ‘Chase the Ace’ fundraiser came to its final draw. And because of the interest it gained nationally online, it took a town to keep up with.

“It was a community effort to make this happen. It wasn’t just our board. We had to enlist a whole lot of volunteers a long time ago to help continue this on.” said Faulkton Area Foundation President Troy Hadrick.

Overflow locations had to be set up due to the number of people looking to be in town for the draw, and space was running out quickly at those locations as the draw began.

“None of us that work here, I don’t think ever dreamt it was going to get this big. I mean, it’s just mind-boggling,” said Faulkton resident Jim Speck.

But it also served as a community-wide get-together. Stephanie Kaiser and her husband Eric own the food truck ‘Gypsy Nosh.’ They were out serving food at one of the watch parties and said that people were ecstatic with what the fundraiser means for Faulkton.

“It’s awesome just to think about the future potential. And to know that some have already gone to the after-school programs. I just can’t wait to see the growth and all the things that happen. It’s really cool.” said Stephanie Kaiser.

The total pot came to $1.87 million, with the winner taking half and the rest going towards the Faulkton Area Foundation. That winner was Lonnie Schlotte of Watertown, drawing the ace of spades from the 13 remaining cards on the first ticket. Kaiser said the effort and time that went into the fundraiser was amazing and showed just how much can get done by a community.

“I love the heart of this town, and the way that everybody pours in together, and this is just going to be a great thing,” said Kaiser.

Hadrick said he’s optimistic about what the community will be able to do in the future. Not just with the number of grants they’ll be able to give back, but how much can be accomplished by the town.

“I think what’s pretty amazing is all of us now that live here in the Faulkton community are starting to think about how this will impact generations to come,” said Hadrick.

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