Queen of ... clubs (not hearts) drawn at McHenry VFW for $277,000 prize
While the top prize remained elusive, someone won $277,622 at the Queen of Hearts raffle hosted by the McHenry VFW Post 4600 Tuesday night.
The standing-room-only crowd gasped as the evening's emcee, Senior Vice Cmdr. Ben Keefe, revealed the card.
"It's a queen," Keefe said, pausing for dramatic effect. "It's not red. Queen of clubs."
Because the card was the queen of clubs, "Mark K.," the person whose raffle ticket was picked out of the massive spinning drum, won $277,622, 5 percent of the $5.55 million total.
Had the queen of hearts been selected, the winner's haul would have been more than $3 million.
The jackpot will roll over yet again next week. Dwane Lungren, commander of McHenry VFW Post 4600, said next week's jackpot will be $6,077,599.
Lungren said the organizers will file the taxes on this week's $277,622 prize and the winner will get the difference with a check.
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.
The other queen cards and the two jokers each were also worth 5 percent of the jackpot and have already been paid out, leaving the queen of hearts as the lone money card remaining.
After the drawing, Keefe implored the departing crowd to please buy their tickets on a day besides Tuesday. The VFW Post on Route 120 east of the Fox River is open every day except Monday.
Just nine envelopes remained on the board Tuesday. There will be eight envelopes for the next drawing Sept. 11.
Two weeks ago the organizers announced that if the jackpot reaches $10 million or if safety becomes a concern at the drawings, then they would have a night where they keep picking numbers until the queen of hearts is finally revealed.