MCHENRY, Ill. -- After going nearly two years with no winner and racking up a massive $7 million jackpot, the McHenry VFW post's Queen of Hearts raffle came to a dramatic end Tuesday night as the winning card was pulled.
The Illinois winner, who wants to remain anonymous and was only identified as "Lori S.", has 24 hours to claim the prize. The winning card was the third to be pulled.
Fox River Post 4600 VFW Commander Dwane Lungren says the post just couldn't keep up with the hype any longer.
"Due to the fact of the traffic, the number of people and safety concern for our volunteers and the staff, it’s gotten very large… we just can’t continue to do it six days a week," Lungren said.
Perhaps ironically, knowing someone will definitely win Tuesday attracted people from far and wide to throw their hat (and raffle tickets) in the mix. Over 2.8 million tickets were sold as of Tuesday morning alone.
"I throw a lot of money away in the lottery, so might as well try it here; at least some goes to the veterans' affairs," Dorian Zarebzan said after making the trip from Mokena.
Of the $7 million total, 20 percent will go towards veterans programs and building improvements for the VFW, and another 20 percent will go to start the next jackpot. The winner gets 60 percent, or about $4.2 million before taxes.
The next game with 54 new tickets will begin Jan. 8.