Lake in the Hills American Legion wants own Queen of Hearts raffle
Suburban fraternal groups striving to draw crowds to their venues soon might imitate McHenry Veterans of Foreign War Post 4600, where a recent high-stakes Queen of Hearts raffle created quite the buzz.
Lake in the Hills American Legion Post 1231 is seeking permission to host a Queen of Hearts raffle similar to the McHenry VFW drawing, which reached a jackpot of more than $7 million.
The village board Thursday night will consider granting the Legion's request for a raffle license. If approved, the game would begin Nov. 8 and continue for a year until Nov. 7, 2019, using a progressive jackpot that rolls over each week.
A ticket would be drawn at 8 p.m. every Thursday. If the Queen of Hearts were drawn, the winner would receive 70 percent of the pot, while the post would keep 15 percent and the remainder would start a new jackpot. If another queen or one of two jokers were drawn, the winner would receive 5 percent of the pot, documents show.
McHenry VFW's raffle winner took home 60 percent of the more than $7 million pot last month. Now, the McHenry post is preparing for another raffle starting with a pot of more than $3.4 million. That game won't begin until Jan. 8, and post officials plan to use shuttle buses and build a new parking lot to handle the traffic crunch, as well as look for ways to ease the pressure on volunteers.
In light of McHenry's experience, Lake in the Hills officials have been considering the possible implications of the legion post's hosting a raffle there. Legion hall, at 1101 Algonquin Road, has limited parking available, which could pose public safety issues, officials said.
"The organization has tentative plans in place should their raffle draw sizable crowds, which include hiring village police personnel for traffic control as necessary," documents show.
Lake in the Hills' municipal code also does not specify a maximum cash payout limit for raffles. A village survey of 20 neighboring towns shows a wide range of caps for raffle winnings -- $10,000 in East Dundee and $6 million in McHenry.
Lake in the Hills trustees weren't keen on capping winnings during an earlier committee of the whole discussion. The village board Thursday night will consider whether to establish a payout limit and approve the legion post's license request. The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. at village hall, 600 Harvest Gate.
How some towns cap raffle payoutsAlgonquin -- $500,000
Barrington -- None
Bartlett -- $50,000
Carpentersville -- None
Crystal Lake -- $250,000
East Dundee -- $10,000
Fox Lake -- $250,000
Geneva -- $50,000
Gilberts -- $500,000
Huntley -- $15,000
McHenry -- $6 million
Mundelein -- No license
Palatine -- None
Roselle -- $200,000
Round Lake Beach -- $100,000
South Elgin -- $50,000
Streamwood -- $50,000
Vernon Hills -- $25,000
West Dundee -- $550,000
Woodstock -- None
Source: Village of Lake in the Hills