Queen found quickly

Barb Gotto

Though many anticipated a long night of searching through a full 54-card board, the Queen of Hearts made an appearance way sooner than she did last week, once again leaving a lucky local resident six figures richer.

As a correction from last week’s story, it was incorrectly reported that ticket sales for the game held Tuesday nights at the Outsider tavern in downtown Waterloo are split evenly between the pot and proceeds to Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic School. In fact, 80 percent of sales contribute to the game’s jackpot while 20 percent is put toward various projects and funds at the school.

Following the drawdown with a remaining 21 cards which took place last Tuesday, crowds gathered around Outsider once more for a full-board drawdown this Tuesday for the chance to win $276,989.

After just seven cards were drawn before her, Barb Gotto’s number – 2,966 – was selected, and her choice of card No. 30 revealed the coveted queen.

A Waterloo local, Gotto said she’s been attending the Queen of Hearts game quite regularly.

Though she said there wasn’t any particular reason she opted for card No. 30, Gotto was more than happy with her choice.

“I cannot believe it,” Gotto said. “I’m shaking like a leaf, and I cannot believe it. I’m so excited. It’s awesome.”

As previously reported, the SPPCS fundraiser will be taking a brief hiatus as this week’s winner was present for the drawing, thus receiving the full jackpot as opposed to just half.

While it was indicated by the game’s organizers last week that the next drawing would take place March 19 – an election day – it was announced Tuesday night that the first drawing of the new round would instead take place March 26, with tickets going on sale starting March 20.

Also as mentioned last week, the new diocese-imposed cap for the drawing will continue at $250,000.

The Republic-Times was also able to speak with last week’s winner, Tim Meehan, who was able to collect his winnings on Monday.

Meehan is originally from Belleville and has moved around over the years, though he has called Waterloo home since 2009.

Meehan said he currently works as a safety director at a mechanical contractor.

Meehan was actually one of the individuals who helped organize the school’s first Queen of Hearts drawing, with proceeds for those first few drawings at Stubborn German intended to contribute to the school’s athletics department.

“I thought, personally, that athletics is a big deal to teach kids sportsmanship and how to get along with other people,” Meehan said. “The initial Queen of Hearts was for the Ss. Peter & Paul athletics association. After a couple years at Stubborn German, they moved it over to Outsider and it turned primarily for the entire school. I helped them push it off the ground.”

Meehan, with ticket No. 188, has regularly attended the drawings over the years, only missing “three or four,” as he recalled.

Explaining his absence at last week’s game in which he took home only half of the more than $500,000 jackpot, Meehan said he simply had business away from home that day, and by the time he was driving into town that evening, all the commotion around Outsider dissuaded him from trying to push through the crowd.

Meehan had only positive things to say about the drawing he helped start.

“I think it’s a great thing for the school,” Meehan said. “If you look at all the things that they were able to take care of with this fundraising, I think it’s a great deal. It makes our school look good. It helps our community.”

Regarding his winnings, Meehan explained he doesn’t have any dramatic plans. With his birthday on the horizon, the $277,254 he won makes for a nice gift, and he anticipates being able to retire that much sooner thanks to his luck.

He still has every intention of contributing to future drawings, given how beneficial he feels the game is for the school and community as a whole.

“I think in the eight years that we’ve done this, we’ve never had so much as a fight,” Meehan said. “I think it just shows how much class this town has, and I think it’s a great fundraiser. It’s great for the entire town, I think.”

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Andrew Unverferth

HTC web