GENEVA – St. Peter Catholic School in Geneva has started a Queen of Hearts 50/50 Raffle with the biggest prize to be $500,000 or half of a $1 million pot.
According to a news release, the fundraiser for the church’s school began Oct. 14.
Based on ticket sales, the pot is expected to be over $8,000 by the next drawing, at 9 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Nobel House restaurant, 305 W. State St., Geneva.
The winner would get $4,000, as it is a 50/50 raffle.
Tickets are $5 each and ticket sales stop each Monday night at 8:30 p.m. with the drawing broadcast live on the school’s Facebook page from the restaurant.
The church’s pastor, Rev. Jonathan Bakkelund, explains in a video on the school's web page, www.stpeterrockets.org, the fundraiser is patterned after other Queen of Hearts Raffles used by other schools and VFWs.
Bakkelund explains in the video that a person buys a ticket and prints their first and last name and phone number on it and chooses a card between 1 and 54 that correspond to the numbers on the backs of oversized playing cards displayed on a board.
“Every week, one ticket will be drawn. The winning ticket will have the number that corresponds to the number on the board,” Bakkelund stated on the video. “If the Queen of Hearts is there, you split the pot.”
The largest pot would be half of $1 million or $500,000, Bakkelund said on the video.
If you don’t pick the Queen of Hearts, participants can still win some money.
If the card is two through 10, the prize is $50.
If it’s any queen other than hearts, it’s $200.
If it’s another face card or an ace, it’s $100.
If it’s a joker, the prize is $150.
If both jokers are revealed, the game resets and starts a new board, Bakkelund states on the video.
“The only thing more tightly sealed than these cards is the seal of confession,” Bakkelund said, and follows that with #priestjoke.
But seriously, Bakkelund said he has no idea what is behind those cards, gesturing to the board with cards and numbers.
“We have to get a little X-Acto knife and cut it out,” Bakkelund said.
The drawings are also posted on the school’s web page and a list of winners can be downloaded from there as well.
So far, the four winners each only won $50, according to the published list.
The fundraiser is intended to help the school with its costs, principal Becky Ward said.
“We are trying to fill the gap between tuition and the actual cost to educate a child,” Ward said. “Hopefully, if we raise enough, we will be able to do improved security measures, update technology and provide tuition assistance for financial aid.”
The school’s dream goal is $500,000, Ward said.
“But we’re really hoping to make at least $100,000,” she said.
The Kane County raffle license restricts the prize amount to $500,000, but Ward said once that prize is awarded, the school can apply for a new license and start a new Queen of Hearts Raffle.