7 things you need to know about Tuesday's McHenry VFW Queen of Hearts drawing
Week after week, month after month, for nearly a year, the Queen of Hearts game run by McHenry VFW Post 4600 has taken on a life of its own.
What started as a way to raise some money for veterans programs and post improvements has become an unexpected phenomenon. The pot for Tuesday night's drawing now stands at $7,080,528.
"We figure it will be a madhouse," Post 4600 Cmdr. Dwane Lungren says.
There are seven chances left, but because of the strain on local resources and fatigue among volunteers and staff, Tuesday's drawing will be the last for this game. VFW officials will pick until there is a winner and everyone will get a welcome breather.
With that, here are some things to know if you feel lucky and want to give the Queen of Hearts a try:
Q: How much do I get if I win?
A: Sixty percent of the total, which equals $4,248,316.80 before taxes. State and federal taxes total 33 percent, so your take-home winnings would be about $2,846,372.
Q: What about the rest of the pot?
A: The VFW gets 20 percent, and the other 20 percent will provide the base funding for the next game. That equates to nearly $1.42 million each.
Q: Will the winner's identity be made known?
A: Only the winner's first name and last initial will be announced publicly, and the winner will not have to be present. However, if he or she wants to be on TV, the winner can come forward at the drawing.
Q: What happens if the winner wants to remain anonymous?
A: He or she will be contacted by the VFW at the phone number on the winning ticket. If the winner does not answer, a message will be left and he or she will have 24 hours to respond. After the identity is verified, a meeting at an undisclosed location will be scheduled and the winner given a check. The winner must produce the portion of the ticket marked "Keep This Coupon."
Q: I want in. Where and for how long can I buy tickets?
A: Tickets will be sold from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at VFW Post 4600, 3002 W. Route 120, which is a few blocks east of the Fox River. Anyone in line at 7 p.m. can buy tickets, but at that point VFW officials will be posted and no one else will be allowed in line. Tickets are six for $5. If a ticket is not filled out correctly, it will be considered invalid and discarded.
Q: Where can I park?
A: There are hundreds of spaces at the VFW ground,s but entry is right-in only from Route 120. There are five clearly marked overflow lots -- three across the street on the south side of Route 120 and two on the north side east of Post 4600. Visit the post's Facebook page for parking locations, game rules and other information.
Q: What else should I know?
A: Because of the anticipated interest and to keep things moving, the VFW kitchen will close at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Five food trucks will be on the grounds, and 15 portable toilets have been added. Forty volunteers are expected to be on hand to sell tickets, direct traffic and handle other duties. The actual drawing begins at 8 p.m. and will be streamed live on Facebook.