No winner yet again in McHenry VFW Queen of Hearts raffle

  • Hundreds of people pack McHenry VFW Post 4600 before the weekly drawing for the Queen of Hearts game four weeks ago at the post on Route 120 in McHenry.

      Hundreds of people pack McHenry VFW Post 4600 before the weekly drawing for the Queen of Hearts game four weeks ago at the post on Route 120 in McHenry. John Starks | Staff Photographer, July 2018

Updated 8/21/2018 9:10 PM

Every Tuesday night since October 2016, Queen of Hearts hopefuls at the McHenry VFW Post 4600 have watched in tense anticipation to see whether the card they picked was the big winner.

And once again, the card selected -- this time the six of diamonds -- wasn't.


Had the ticket owner -- someone named "Chris C." -- correctly guessed where the queen of hearts was on the big board of 54 cards, they would have made $2.6 million before taxes, which is 60 percent of the total $4.3 million pot.

The standing-room-only crowd cheered when the evening's emcee Senior Vice Cmdr. Ben Keefe revealed the card.

Before the drawing, Keefe addressed rumors that he said were flying around about whether the organizers would have a night where they keep drawing tickets until the queen of hearts is finally revealed. Keefe told the crowd that there are only two circumstances in which they would do a draw down night, the first is if the jackpot reaches $10 million because they are only allowed to give away a top prize that is less than $6 million.

"The other situation is if we feel that safety becomes an issue we will decide to do a draw down," Keefe said, flanked by red heart-shaped balloons. "At this point we're OK, if it becomes too crazy around here we're going to be forced to do a draw down."

"I made that agreement with the city and I'm going to stick to it," Keefe added.

He said they would announce that they would be doing a draw down at least one week in advance.

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Keefe also announced that whenever the queen of hearts is finally found the next raffle wouldn't start back up until January 8, 2019.

"We are taking some time off," Keefe said, as the crowd began clapping for the volunteers who have helped run the Tuesday night drawings for nearly two years. "We will not sell tickets for that game until the first of the year."

Dwane Lungren, commander of Post 4600, said the pot for next week's drawing will be $4.8 million.

Lungren said the post had sold more than $500,000 worth of raffle tickets for the second time in two weeks.

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.

Just 11 envelopes remained on the board Tuesday. There will be 10 envelopes Aug. 28.

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