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Up to $2M up for grabs in Waterloo Queen of Hearts raffle

Monday alone, there were at least two separate $2,000 ticket buys, but one big spender took home $10,000 in tickets.

WATERLOO, Ill. — Someone is going to walk away from the Queen of Hearts raffle in Waterloo, Illinois, with $2 million Tuesday night.

The Monroe County town has a population just north of 11,000, and seemingly, all of them are at Outsiders with the same goal in mind.

“To get that Queen of Hearts,” Gary Washausen said.

“To become a millionaire,” volunteer Shelby Mathes said.  “A multimillionaire!”

The rules for the popular Queen of Hearts raffle are simple.

“Have the queen when the number is pulled,” Mathes said. “If you don’t, you get $500 for your ticket being pulled. You just have to have your ticket with your number on the back, and whatever card you think she’s under.”

However, there’s no way to enter unless you played a hand before the jackpot was worth more than $1 million in December.

“It was cut off at $15,000,”  Mathes said.

A 2017 Waterloo ordinance capped the jackpot at $2 million, with 20% going to a local catholic school.

“I guess they never realized it would go this crazy,” Mathes said.

Those restrictions haven’t stopped people from across the world from trying their luck.

“We had some from Germany and some from Brazil,” Mathes said. “The one gentleman from Brazil buys a lot.”

Monday alone, there were at least two separate $2,000 ticket buys, but one big spender took home $10,000 in tickets.

“That’s crazy,” Washausen said.

While there may be some debate on the best way to play, it seems that everyone here already has plans to spend the prize money.

“I would pay off some bills, invest some money, pay off my house, my car, all of my debt,” said Willie Rolan who drove from St. Louis to buy tickets.

“It would be nice to see somebody local win it, but it is what it is,” Washausen said. “Everybody has a chance if they have the winning number.”

We know the Queen of Hearts will be drawn tomorrow night, but the question is how much the winner will take home. 

You have to be in attendance to win the full $2 million pot. Otherwise, you only get 50%. 

There will be no ticket sales after 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31. The Queen of Hearts drawing will start at 7 p.m. at Outsiders in Waterloo.

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