While Manitobans wait for the winners to be officially declared, the Kinsmen Club of Winnipeg says its Saturday night bingo jackpot was an unprecedented smash hit.
"It blows all our previous records out of the water, in recent history," said Kinsmen Club of Winnipeg bingo chairman, Raj Phangureh, on Sunday.
"I've been in the club for 20 years… and I've never seen anything close to it."
Phangureh said the club estimates 630,000 cards were sold from May 2019 to this past Saturday, when the draw was held. With a $10,000 seed amount in the pot, which grows by $1 per card sold, the final estimate of the jackpot is $640,000.
Provincial gaming rules mean the club can't officially declare winners until Monday at noon.
"What I can say is that we did stop our game on the 49th ball, and we did have players call in with a bingo," Phangureh said.
The club sold almost 80,000 bingo cards per week in the last two weeks of January, Phangureh said.
On Tuesday, the Kinsmen Jackpot Bingo posted a message on its Facebook page saying it would no longer list stores that receive card deliveries in Winnipeg.
"We have hordes of people driving dangerously, following our courier driving like paparazzi and putting him in danger," said the social media post.
"I think the high demand for cards caused everyone to just really go bingo crazy," said Phangureh on Sunday.
"I mean, that's really the term I'm going to have to use, everyone just went bingo crazy. Which is great, you know? But I mean, there are obviously going to be some drawbacks to that, but I think overall it was a great thing and I wouldn't change anything."
Phangureh said winners should be announced on the club's Facebook page later this week. The service club will have to decide where to donate the substantial proceeds from the charity bingo game, he said.
"With the amount of money that we have, we can do a lot of good in the community, we can do something we've never done before."
Solomon Israel is a full-time reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press and for two years, the lead writer for Free Press cannabis news site, The Leaf News. He continues to provide coverage of the cannabis beat while covering business in the city and province.