$1.6M 'Queen of Hearts' raffle at Morris VFW suspended indefinitely

MORRIS, Ill. (WLS) -- The highly anticipated "Queen of Hearts" raffle at a Morris VFW was suspended Monday afternoon, just hours before the drawing for the $1.6 million jackpot.

The fundraiser had caused a frenzy in the far southwest suburb, but the Illinois Gaming Board told the VFW that they need a city-issued license to sell tickets.

Jerry Peterson, quartermaster for VFW Post 6049, said the city, until now, has not required it.

"They said that as of 2015 it's required to have a license from the city, well our city doesn't require a license for raffle," Peterson said. "I went and talked to the mayor and the gaming board and agreed the city needs to implement a gaming license so we said let's just suspend it for now."

The raffle is expected to resume after Labor Day, which is when the city council will next convene to consider the license.

Thousands of raffle tickets sold for Monday's drawing - which was scheduled for 6 p.m. - is under police supervision until the game can resume.

In the weeks leading up to the drawing, lines for tickets got longer as the elusive "Queen of Hearts" had failed to come up at the weekly drawings. With just three cards left, Monday's drawing was to be the last and a winner finally picked.

As part of the game, people buy tickets and then choose a number on a chart. If the queen of hearts is behind their number, the person gets 70 percent of ticket sales.
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