Although he played last year, Dan Herr of Johnsburg said he bought his first tickets of this year’s McHenry Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4600’s Queen of Hearts raffle at 4 p.m. Tuesday, four hours before the drawing.
Herr and his wife both bought $20 worth of tickets, and he picked card No. 5, which he said is the day of the month his son was born.
When his ticket was drawn, Herr and his wife stood in anticipation as VFW Senior Vice Cmdr. Ben Keefe announced that there was a queen in his selected envelope: a queen of clubs worth $25,000.
Although he wouldn’t be walking away with half of a pot that reached about $4 million, Herr said he was happy and would’ve been satisfied with an even smaller prize.
Tuesday’s drawing leaves 18 cards on the board: 1, 2, 4, 6 and cards 9 through 22.
VFW board member Tom McCormack said ticket sales slightly improved this week and it is the VFW’s hope to continue the growth, possibly into the end of August.
Under a new city ordinance, the Queen of Hearts raffle must finish by July 30, at which point a drawdown will take place. In accordance with the new ordinance, the maximum individual payout for the game will be $3 million, allowing for a maximum pot of $6 million.
McCormack said part of the reason the ordinance was approved was because of all of the disruptive traffic from last year’s game.
However, McCormack said this was before the VFW finished its expanded parking lot. Also, last year’s game took place during construction on Lincoln Road, which limited traffic flow.
Therefore, McCormack said VFW members will be attending the next McHenry City Council meeting to extend the Queen of Hearts game for the benefit of all of the local businesses that saw improved sales as a result of the raffle.
“I think we benefited the city a lot,” McCormack said. “We definitely put McHenry on the map.”
Queen of Hearts tickets can be purchased at the VFW with cash from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets also will be sold from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday before the drawing.
If a 10 is drawn, the ticket holder will receive $5,000. Jacks are worth $10,000 to the ticket-holder, kings are worth $15,000, aces are worth $20,000, the three queens other than the queen of hearts are worth $25,000, and the jokers are worth $30,000.
If the queen of hearts is picked, the ticket-holder will receive 50% of the jackpot, 40% will go to the VFW and veterans programs, and 10% will build the next pot.