No winner for $2.92 million (now $3.3 million) McHenry VFW Queen of Hearts jackpot
Like every other recent Tuesday, ticket buyers poured into McHenry VFW Post 4600 when it opened at 11 a.m. for the 8 p.m. Queen of Hearts drawing.
And like every other Tuesday, the top prize went unclaimed.
The grand prize before taxes was $2.92 million, and had the person with the right raffle ticket correctly guessed where the queen of hearts was, they would have made 60 percent of that -- a cool $1.75 million before taxes.
When it was revealed that the jackpot would be rolling over yet again, the standing room only crowd gave a loud, sustained cheer.
Dwane Lungren, the Commander of VFW Post 4600, said next week's jackpot will be $3.3 million.
The master of ceremonies for the evening, VFW Post 4600 Senior Vice Commander Ben Keefe, appeared to be having fun winding up the hundreds of spectators before revealing that the grand prize would once again go unclaimed.
The raffle ticket holder, who wrote on her ticket only that her name was "Linda J," did not attend the drawing, so Keefe stood by himself at one end of the hall while the eyes of hundreds fixed on him.
After picking up the playing card Linda J. had selected and appearing to look at it, he addressed the crowd.
"As always she gets $100," Keefe began before being drowned out by wails of joy from the crowd who assumed that meant Keefe had seen that the card wasn't the queen of hearts and that the raffle winner was only going to get the consolation prize. Keefe lifted the microphone aloft until the crowd simmered back down.
"I haven't looked at it yet," he chided the audience playfully. "I'm just saying that she's getting $100 for her ticket being pulled."
Then he looked at the card.
"And nothing else," he said showing the crowd that the card was the king of spades, which really set the crowd off.
The game is based on a shuffled deck of standard playing cards and two jokers that are placed in numbered envelopes and arranged in rows on a board. Cards that have been selected by drawing winners but aren't the elusive queen of hearts are turned face up. Fourteen envelopes remained Tuesday. There will be 13 next Tuesday.