AVISTON, Ill. (KMOX) – Thousands swarmed to the small Illinois town of Aviston Wednesday night for a chance to win some serious cash — more than $800,000.
The weekly Queen of Hearts drawing — now with a jackpot of $817,822 — was held at the Aviston American Legion Post.
The town has a population of 2,000, and nearly 10,000 registered to participate in the drawing, KSDK reports. Legion members say the fire department required them to cap the number of participants for safety reasons.
The woman whose ticket was picked Wednesday night was not present for the drawing, but chose card 29. That card matched the Joker, meaning she won $500 for having the matching ticket, and another $1,000 for picking the Joker.
The Queen of Hearts drawing has been happening once a week since January. No one has won in 44 weeks, so the jackpot has been increasing every week.
The massive jackpot will roll over, again, and the drawing will continue into its 45th week. The next drawing will be Wednesday, Nov. 15, at American Legion Post, with 10 cards remaining.
The Legion plans to use its proceeds — 20 percent of ticket sales — to make its post more accessible to the disabled.