And then there were three.
The elusive queen of hearts evaded being selected yet again this week at the Fort Augustus Recreation Centre.
The game, Capture the Queen, has been going on since November 2016.
There are now only three cards left - the two of diamonds, the five of diamonds and the queen of hearts.
Organizers estimate next week’s jackpot will be around $25,000.
Capture of the Queen is the same game as Chase the Ace, but the winner is looking for the queen of hearts instead of the ace of spades.
Clayton Currie of Mermaid was this week’s weekly winner and walked away with $2,436.25.
“I was stunned and excited,” said Currie when he heard his number called.
Currie admits this was his first time coming to the Fort Augustus Recreation Centre for the Capture the Queen game.
Currie was close to winning the jackpot of $18,698. He would have walked away with $21,134.25.
Currie selected the card right next to the queen of hearts, the king of hearts.
“I would be excited if I won $9, so I’m pretty excited about this,” said Currie who plans to pay some bills with his winnings.
Currie says he plans to come back next week to play again.
Organizers say this is the busiest week they’ve seen yet with about 250 people in attendance, double what they typically see on a Friday night.
The hall rang with chatter and laughter as people of all ages enjoyed an evening of trivia and cards before the draw.
John Aylward, volunteer with the Fort Augustus Recreation Centre, said about 2,000 tickets were sold, taking in $9,745.
The money received each week is divided into three categories: 50 per cent goes to the community, 25 per cent goes into the jackpot and 25 per cent goes to the weekly winner.
“I have a feeling that it’s going to go right to the end,” said Aylward. “I feel like since we got this far, then we may go right to the end.”
Agnes MacDonald of Fort Augustus has only missed three or four nights since the game started in 2016.
She buys five tickets every week with her sister, Genevieve, who lives in Edmonton, Alta.
“We’re hoping it will continue to the last one,” said MacDonald. “I hope I pick the last one, then I won’t have to choose.”
MacDonald said she likes seeing her community coming together.
“It’s just been a blessing because not only does it lift the spirit, but they have decided here at the (Fort Augustus Recreation Centre) to give some money to organizations in the community, which is very nice.”