'A bingo craze swept Manitoba': The $640K Kinsmen jackpot has been won
WINNIPEG -- The bingo fever that that took over Manitoba has come to end.
Kinsmen Jackpot Bingo confirmed to CTV News Winnipeg that on Saturday someone won the $640,000 jackpot -- the largest prize in the weekly game’s history.
“We stopped the game at 49 balls because we got caller or callers calling in for bingo,” said Raj Phangureh, who’s been running the bingo for ten years.
Phangureh said the jackpot has been growing since May 11, and that sales have steadily increased over time. The jackpot is comprised of $1 from every card sold, on top of an initial $10,000.
“With our jackpot at $640,000, I mean that would basically put our estimate at $630,000 cards sold in that time,” he said.
Phangureh said Kinsmen’s average is normally 6,000 cards sold in the summer and 9,000 in the winter, but this year’s sales got to the point where they couldn’t keep up with the demand for printing, supply and distribution.
“We were climbing to a regular sales amount like 10,000, 11,000 cards a week in September and climbing 10 per cent every week until we hit about 80,000 cards in January 18 and January 25,” he said.
In January, CTV News Winnipeg reported on people clamouring to get their hands on the cards, sold out almost everywhere.
Phangureh said he estimates the net sales were about $2 million and said they are going to try and find the best community causes to contribute the money to. In the past they’ve given to Winnipeg Harvest, The Dream Factory, Special Olympics Manitoba, and Agape Table.
“I think just a bingo craze swept Manitoba last week. It’s really been sweeping Manitoba, I think, the past I would say three months, if not a little bit longer,” he said.
The name of the winner will be released later in the week.