A lottery jackpot – and jackpot fever – is growing | Alaska News

A little-known weekly lottery based in Fairbanks has a jackpot that’s about to top $600,000. The next Lotto Alaska drawing is Sunday. Tickets are on sale now starting at $2 each.

“I can see this one easily going over a million dollars,” said Stosh Solski, one of four employees supporting the lottery at a pull-tab joint called Luckys in downtown Fairbanks. It is a licensed business with a charitable gaming license. Part of the profits are donated to 29 charities. Solski said nearly $30,000 was donated to nonprofits this week.

The National Lottery sells tickets online at lotoalaska.com. Ten tickets are $10, 25 tickets are $20, 75 tickets are $50, and 200 tickets are $100. The weekly draw is broadcast on Facebook every Sunday around 6 p.m. with the winning numbers announced on the lottery website at 6:30 p.m.

There are two prizes, including a weekly prize, starting at $10,000, depending on ticket sales. The winner has their number drawn on a drum bearing numbered receipts reflecting each ticket purchased. The biggest weekly prize so far was around $37,000, Solski said. This week’s price is on course to surpass that, he said.

The weekly prize winner is eligible to try and win the jackpot. It’s the big buck. The jackpot rose to $591,416.40 last Sunday. The new jackpot will be known when ticket sales stop shortly before the next draw.

Earning this money involves a game of chance with playing cards. The player chooses a card from a deck, including the two jokers, laid out face down on a table. This card must be the ace of spades to win. The game is called Chase the Ace. Each week, as the cards are turned over, the chances of finding the Ace of Spades increase.

The Chase the Ace card chart as it appears on the Lotto Alaska website shows that 16 of the 54 cards have been turned up so far in play for the current jackpot. Winners must play for the jackpot by 6 p.m. the day after the draw, according to the contest rules.

It can take weeks to find the ace. In the meantime, the jackpot is growing.

“We’re down to just three cards on the board,” Solski said.

In October, Fox’s Dorothy Luchansky won a jackpot worth $657,540.60, according to a report from KTVF Channel 11.

Since its inception in 2017, Lotto Alaska has paid out over $1.7 million in prize money and donated between $300,000 and $400,000 to non-profit organizations including the Fairbanks Arts Association, Alaska Outdoor Council Inc. , College Rotary Club, North Pole Lions Foundation Inc., Midnight Sun Intertribal. Pow Wow, Wolfpack Wrestling Incorporated and more.

Solski said 20% of ticket sales go to the weekly raffle, 30% goes to the jackpot, and the other half pays for overhead and grants to nonprofit organizations.

The first weekly prize paid by Lotto Alaska was less than $100. The first jackpot was $22,000.

“It’s pretty amazing when you look at the starting week so far,” Solski said. “It’s growing.”

Winners come from all over Alaska.

“We are actually very important in the villages,” Solski said.

In recent weeks, Lotto Alaska has sold 150,000 to 180,000 tickets. On Monday, ticket sales doubled from the previous Monday.

Solski said 24% of winnings are subject to federal tax. Winners must be at least 18 years old and agree to have their picture and first name shared by Lotto Alaska.

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