The owners of the winning $1.2-million Chase the Ace ticket posed for the camera Thursday morning in Margaree Forks, N.S.
But as soon as the photo op was done, the mood turned sour.
"See you in court," Barbara Reddick of Guysborough, N.S., said, pointing at her nephew, Tyrone MacInnis.
"Chase the Ace winners, it's going to court. I'm taking him to court. It was my ticket. I bought the ticket and now he's trying to lie and say I said split. I said split with the 50/50, not with no Chase the Ace," Reddick told a group of people gathered for the ceremony.
"I'm taking him to court. I'm getting a lawyer tomorrow. Now you can print that."
Although both names were on the winning ticket, Reddick denied the two had an agreement to which her nephew replied, "yes, we did."© Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Barbara Reddick points at her nephew Tyrone MacInnis while telling him she is going to take him to court.
Reddick then said, "he's lying. I put his name on the [ticket], I told him, for good luck."
The contact number on the ticket was for MacInnis, who lives in Glace Bay.
Reddick explained she had no intention of splitting the winnings with her nephew despite his name being on the ticket.
"I put his name on the ticket for good luck because he's like a son to me — he was. He was lucky, but not for half a million dollars."
Bernice Curley, chair of the Margaree Forks Chase the Ace committee, said she was floored by the turn of events.
"I can't really explain it. I didn't expect anything like that to happen. I just came to deliver the cheques and present them to the winners," she said.
"I'm a little bit disappointed that happened at the end."
She said because there were two names on the winning ticket, she wrote a cheque for half of the winnings to each person, after checking with province's alcohol and gaming division "to make sure I was allowed to do that. They were perfectly fine with that, that it would make it easier for everyone involved. So I split the cheque evenly."© Gary Mansfield/CBC Bernice Curley, chair of the fundraiser, says she is disappointed at how the cheque presentation turned out.
After more than a year and with only two cards left in the $1.2-million draw, the odds were pretty good the Chase the Ace fundraiser in Margaree Forks would wrap up Wednesday night.
"There was a good crowd on hand. The buzz was quite high. Everyone was pretty excited to see what was going to happen. Since the jackpot got higher, every week the crowd got bigger," said Curley told CBC's Information Morning Cape Breton earlier Thursday morning.
"I think people in the area got a little frustrated. They're not used to having traffic gridlocked in Margaree Forks, but it was short-lived and it was great to see so many people come to the area."
Ticket sales for the Chase the Ace fundraiser for two area fire departments started to heat up over the last few weeks, topping $798,000 during the last week alone.
The proceeds are being shared by the Margaree Volunteer Fire Department and North East Margaree Volunteer Fire Department, which are getting new fire trucks and possibly emergency response vehicles.
"For a place that says there's no money, there was money coming into Margaree over the last few weeks. I'm not sure where, but everyone just wants a shot at it [the jackpot]," Curley said.
She said she's been asked if she feels guilty about the money people are spending on tickets.
"I'm not sure. I'm really not sure where that money comes from," Curley said.
"I'm more of a believer that if you weren't giving it to us, you'd be giving it to some other gambling idea."
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