McHenry VFW Queen of Hearts raffle tops $1M as games grow in popularity

MCHENRY, Ill. -- Another Chicagoland VFW Queen of Hearts raffle has topped $1 million as the raffles continue to grow in both size and popularity.

They were expecting 600 people to be on-hand for Tuesday night's big drawing in McHenry, but it turned out to be more than that. However, nobody won, but some people said they had fun trying.

While the jackpot isn’t exactly at $1 million—20 percent goes to fix up the Veterans of Foreign War and another 20 percent goes toward the next jackpot—$600,000 keeps people coming back.

Game official said they’ll try again with a bigger jackpot next week.

The drawings have been controversial with some accusing local governments of changing the rules to accommodate the raffles.

Supporters say even if that’s true, this is a great way to help veterans just in time for Memorial Day.

Supporters of the drawing also said it has helped bring the town back on the map and has brought a lot of support to the McHenry VFW.

“World War II, Korean and Vietnam veterans, as they move on, we need these younger veterans to come join us,” Dwane Lungren, manager at the McHenry VFW, said.

McHenry isn’t the first place to see a million-dollar Queen of Hearts jackpot. The VFW post in Morris, Ind., had one last year that one turned out to be illegal. The raffle got so big it had to shut down while the post got a license.

There is no such problem in McHenry. The municipality’s on-board all the way up to $1.6-million.

"Which leaves only one question: What is the winner going to do with all that money?

Some people WGN spoke to on Tuesday had a few ideas:

“Oh, spread it around.”

“Buy a big house.”

“Going to put my son through college and pay off my house.”

“I have to take [my friend] on vacation with me. I promised her.”