Queen craziness continues
Tuesday’s wildly popular Queen of Hearts drawing in support of Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic School saw big winnings for one and, after it was realized he was absent, big news for future games.
The winner for the evening was Tim Meehan, a regular at Outsider in downtown Waterloo according to tavern owner Donovan Melican.
Meehan’s number, 188, indicated he was among the first individuals to purchase a ticket for the game – the numbers read by the evening’s announcer Nick Liefer reached into the 10,000s.
Meehan could have taken home a jackpot of $554,508 but, as he wasn’t present when his number was announced, he will instead take home half of those winnings.
At the start of Tuesday’s drawing, 21 cards remained on the board with the evening’s drawdown requiring a total of 16 prospective winners being named.
A number of face cards were drawn and the suits jumped from spades to diamonds to clubs before Meehan’s number was called and No. 53 was chosen on his behalf.
Game organizers had announced last week that Tuesday would be the final evening for this round of the game in anticipation of the drawing hitting the $500,000 cap imposed by the Diocese of Belleville after the previous jackpot reached nearly $2 million.
Meehan’s win might not have been the biggest development of the evening, however. It was announced that a new drawing will take place next Tuesday with the jackpot including the remaining $277,254 left over from this round.
As Liefer announced over the sizeable late January crowd, the diocese had recently announced that a new cap of $250,000 had been established for area fundraisers – though next week’s Queen of Hearts game will be grandfathered in with the leftover jackpot.
Tickets for the game went on sale Wednesday at noon. The entire round will take place Tuesday as the evening will consist of another drawdown with a fresh board of 54 cards until the coveted Queen of Hearts is found once more.
After the drawing, as the crowd which enveloped most of Outsider began heading back home from a chilly evening, SPPCS Secretary Becky Simshauser – who has been present for most of the drawings this round as an announcer – offered her thoughts on the fundraiser.
She noted the turnout for the drawing from the previous week – the first after a month-long break due to the holiday season and then poor weather – which was more than a little dreary.
“Last week, it was raining and it was nasty, and I compared it to a really really awful Black Friday sale,” Simshauser said. “It was terrible! But there were so many people, and they were so packed, and it was so tight. That’s exactly what it felt like.”
Simshauser further described the overall energy of this past Tuesday, which she said challenged the feeling even of the $1 million-plus dollar drawings of the previous round.
“We were talking tonight in the ticket booth that we thought that tonight there was more going on, more people and more energy than the night that we had $2 million,” Simshauser said. “With the consistency of the people, they said there was way more going on than last time.”
Melican also offered his thoughts about the game prior to Tuesday’s drawing, noting the game has offered its fair share of help for his business – though he said there’s been a touch less activity compared to the past round.
“A little bit. Nothing real noticeable,” Melican said. “It has been lighter, but it’s still fairly busy. When we were at a million dollars last year, it was crazy. We couldn’t even keep up. This year, we’re doing pretty good. I don’t know if we’ve gotten used at doing what we do or if it’s just been a little bit slower.”
Melican also expressed he is happy to continue the partnership between Outsider and SPPCS.
SPPCS Principal Lori Matzenbacher was also present at Tuesday’s drawing.
Regarding the procedure for upcoming Queen of Hearts games, she explained that another similar drawing would be held the following week should the winner of next week’s game be absent.
Should the winner be present, Matzenbacher said another drawing would not take place until March 19.
Concerning the fundraising aspect of the game – 20 percent of ticket sales go toward the school while the remaining 80 percent contributes to the pot – Matzenbacher said SPPCS administration has yet to decide what to do with funds gathered from this round as it is still handling various projects that began thanks to the funds raised from prior round.
Matzenbacher also shared her general thoughts on the Queen of Hearts game and its positive impact.
“I continue to say it takes a village, and not just the faculty and staff from the school,” Matzenbacher said. “We’ve had a great relationship here with Outsider with their staff helping us out, the people that aren’t involved with the parish or the school just coming up and volunteering their time every week. We’re so very thankful. It’s not just people of Waterloo that are helping to support this but all surrounding communities. It’s really become a social event for the area. It’s really done great for the downtown area here in Waterloo. We’re truly thankful for everybody’s support.”