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Red Bud, Illinois, man wins nearly $2M in Waterloo Queen of Hearts drawing

“It’s going to change a lot ... I mean it’d change anybody’s life ... you know, it’s unbelievable,” winner Sam Houston said.

WATERLOO, Ill. — After more than an hour of drawing numbers in the Queen of Hearts game in Waterloo, Illinois, a 61-year-old man from Red Bud, Illinois, is taking home nearly $2 million.

The winning card number on the board was 28.

Thousands of people from all over came out for weeks to buy tickets in hopes of getting lucky.

“Well, it’s part of the local community it’s for a good cause and hopefully I’ll win a lot of money,” new Waterloo resident Steve Winkler said.

Eric Schmidt said it was really fun to get the whole town and beyond together. He said he had big plans for the money if he won.

“I’ll buy some cars and a house and maybe a trip somewhere,” Schmidt said.

The jackpot ended up at $1,886,536.

This is the main fundraiser for Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Grade School.

“In small-town communities the little private schools they’re just locally funded and they’re good and the kids come out and do great things," Jan Walsh said. "It’s a community and the kids appreciate what’s done for them."

The principal said every week 20% of ticket sales went to the school.

“We are trying to be very frugal and make very good decisions working with the parish and the school and people involved just to make sure we’re putting the money to great use. I know that one item that’s been already on our list of things that we wanted to do is replace our gym roof,” SPPS Principal Lori Matzenbacher said.

After more than an hour of drawing numbers Sam Houston was declared the winner.

“Man, my feet were freezing but I ain’t cold at all anymore not at all yeah it’s just amazing,” Houston said.

He said he put $20 worth of tickets in every week and never imagined as a retired iron worker from Red Bud, Illinois that he would get so lucky.

“It’s going to change a lot I mean it’d change anybody’s life you know it’s unbelievable,” Houston said.

He said the first thing he’s going to do with this money is go to Las Vegas.

Matzenbacher said they’re going to start up the drawing again in March.

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