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Chase the Ace Raffles

What is Chase the Ace?

Chase the Ace is a form of lottery that has gained popularity since 2013 in parts of Canada as a way to raise funds for charities. It is also known as Crown the King, Queen of Hearts Jig the Joker, and Catch the Ace. 


The jackpot accumulates from week-to-week until it is won, and the game is then over. Each week participants buy lottery tickets. The funds from ticket sales are divided into three parts: 


  • Organizers typically retain 50%, 

  • The winner of the draw takes 20%, and 

  • The accumulated jackpot grows by 30% of this week's sales. 


The raffle winner also then draws a card from a deck of playing cards and wins the accumulated jackpot if the ace of spades is drawn. If not, the reduced deck is kept for the following week's game. 

Image by Jack Hamilton
Deck of Cards

How is Chase the Ace played?

  • At a set location one day a week over 2-3 hours tickets are sold for the raffle, 

  • The winner usually receives about 20% of the draw from that day, 

  • Holder of the winning ticket must be present to claim the prize, 

  • If nobody comes forward within a certain amount of time, the number is disqualified and a new draw is made, 

  • The winner of the draw, receives a chance to win the cumulative "card jackpot"...which is around 30% of all previous weekly sales. 

  • The draw winner cuts the deck of cards and if he/she draws the ace of spades, they win the "card jackpot" as well. 

  • If the Ace of Spades is not drawn, the selected card is destroyed and the 30% goes back into the prize pot for next week's draw. 

  • The Contest continues with the same deck of cards until the ace of spades is drawn. 

  • No limit on the number of tickets that can be sold for a draw unless the regulator requires it. 

What Might a Chase the Ace Look like with Terminals and Online Ticket Purchasing

  • Sales are open all week long.  People can buy their tickets at home or on a mobile device. 

  • At the draw location on the draw date terminals still sell tickets. 

  • Jackpot information is updated live and displayed at the event and on mobile phones. 

  • The winner is phoned and has 1 hour to get to the draw location and cut the deck.  


Online sales expand the charities reach and makes the labour burden for the charity easier as they don't have to sell all their tickets in a 3 hour window each week. Less volunteers are required and you have started to grow your database to market your next raffle to. 

Card Tricks

Chase the Ace FAQ

  • What is an electronic 50/50?
    A 50/50 raffle in which the prize is half the value of all the tickets sold during the event or a defined period of time. Traditionally these were paper tickets, now they can be paper tickets issued by our terminals or an eticket with an online purchase. The purchaser receives a ticket containing a number. Ticket stubs are printed with corresponding numbers and are placed in a drum (or a virtual drum with etickets) for a draw to determine the winner! Signage showing jackpot totals in the venue or online greatly increases jackpots.
  • Do we have to be a charity/non-profit?
    Well yes and no. In Canada you have to be a charitable organization. Each jurisdiction works within federal criminal code, but may vary somewhat on their definition of charitable organization. In the US, you have to be a 501(3)(c). We can sell our platform/equipment to non-charitable organizations, such as an or professional team, but a charitable organization has to run the raffle.
  • Who supplies the labour to sell tickets?
    The charitable organization has to supply the volunteers to sell tickets. Tap50:50 is a supplier of technology to the charitable gaming sector. We cannot hold the raffle or supply the volunteers.
  • Do we need a raffle license?
    In Canada, unequivocally yes. In the US, it's a maybe. Many states require licenses. Many don't.
  • What kind of terminals does Tap50:50 use?
    Our terminals are PCI compliant workhorses designed for state lotteries. They look very much like a debit machine. We have utilized a device with a built in printer to save teams/charities from purchasing a device and a hip printer along with only having to power the batteries of one device.
  • How is the draw done?
    We have two ways to do the draw. The best way is to press a button on our raffle platform and a gaming lab certified random number generator (RNG) will choose the winner(s) for you. The second way is to network small bank printers to a laptop and print out each individual ticket stub. This is the old school method used by teams when RNG draws weren't allowed in Canada. It still works, it' just a little clunkier, but some jurisdictions still require this method.
  • What does Tap50:50 charge?
    We like helping charity and believe in philanthropy so we charge a modest percentage of the jackpot depending on whether you buy or lease our equipment in jurisdictions where this is allowed. To speak in generalities, we charge 6% on terminal based sales if you purchase our equipment. Online may differ and festivals and one-off events that lease our equipment will be more.
  • When does Tap 50:50 get paid?
    TAP 50:50 does not run the raffle and therefore never actually is in possession of the raffle proceeds. You as a charity run the raffle with our equipment. When the raffle is over, the money is yours and you can pay us at a later date (soon would be nice).
  • We have no Wi-Fi. Can we still run a raffle?
    We are used to these kind of limitations and have ways to make them work despite the environment. We like to take a consultative approach on how to make your environment as productive as it can be. In 2019 we also added cellular raffle terminal capability.
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