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Million dollar winner already put in for retirement

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He wasn’t quite sure how to say it at first but once he collected himself Brad Slugoski found the words to express himself after finding out he had won over $1 million. With a huge smile on his face, just a month before retiring and with a cheering audience before him at the Roy H. Johnston Arena, Slugoski spoke about winning the pot that had The Pas, surrounding communities and even a good portion of the prairie provinces holding their breath.
“I was shaking, it was hard to sign my name, it’s a million dollars. It’s amazing,” said Slugoski.
Having a long career as part of the mining company HudBay Minerals in Flin Flon and having gone to nearly every single round of Chase the Ace -traveling to and from Flin Flon in the process- Slugoski was understandably very happy.
“(I’ve been going) pretty much since it started, though winter storms driving. We come here all the time, enjoying our time with everybody here, all good people. We really enjoy it,” he said.
The Legion staff was also very happy to see it go to someone who’s been around since the start.
“They have been dedicated coming to our draws; they have been here every weekend, them and friends, sometimes just him and his wife standing outside in minus 40 degree weather waiting in line. They have been dedicated and we have been so happy and I was excited when he stood up,” said Linda Kuhl, Branch Manager for the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #19.
Slugoski said he plans to split the winnings with his brother-in-law, who is also retiring just over a week before him.
“I’m sharing my ticket with my brother-in-law and he retires in 25 days and I retire in 33 days. We’ve already signed our papers and this is just going to be the icing on the cake. This is going to be great,” said Slugoski.
For many of the Legion staff they are happy to see it go after it hit a million dollars.
“I am thrilled that we gave away a million bucks. I never thought it was going to get this high ever. When it hit half a million I was like ok someone is going to win it, when it hit a million I was like enough’s enough. When John (Finestone, the previous person to try and draw the ace on March 17) didn’t get it a couple weeks ago, I am very happy to see Brad win it,” said Kuhl.
Other staff said they are glad to see it go this far, to see the impact that it has made.
“Who knew that this would happen in this little community? A million dollars in The Pas, Manitoba, northern Manitoba, it’s been a dream. I mean I’m glad that it’s done, I’m glad that some that’s been participating in this event week in, week out has won this; we do appreciate the help from outside communities as well. This is not only a The Pas event it’s a northern event,” said Andre LeClerc, President of Branch #19.
Over the course of this round of Chase the Ace tens of thousands of dollars was given to various local community service groups.
“I think that it’s important for us to say that our Legion, our Legion members, our veterans in The Pas, those that partake in our facility have been very, very blessed to have things run the way they did as good as they did. The money’s going to our community, very blessed to have that money come back to the organizations and it’s going to a really good cause,” said Colin Stark, Second Vice-Chair for the Legion.
For now it’s time for a break Kuhl said, as Chase the Ace will be taking the summer off. It will be back in September however and will kick off with a sizeable pot as well, meaning there could be another million dollar winner in the making.
“We’re starting at over $200,000 so it’s definitely a possibility we got 54 cards, it could be $2 million,” she said.
With another hefty pot possibly looming, it understandable there is some excitement to get the next round going but after over a year to complete this round some are wanting a break.
“I can’t wait for the next one to start,” said LeClerc.
“I can,” responded Kuhl.

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Trevor Wright
REPORTER
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