It all began nearly a year ago when local non-profit, Shirley’s Way, kicked off their Queen of Hearts charity raffle game at a Valley Station restaurant last April.
If you have not heard of Shirley’s Way, you have probably at least seen their logos – alternating variations of purple handprints or the slogan “Cancer Sucks!” – plastered on vehicles and advertisements around town. According to their website, the organization’s mission is to be “an extension of the household income and help local families as they battle the financial side of cancer.”
Playing the game was as simple as purchasing a $2 raffle ticket. Winning it, it turns out, was not as easy as it sounded. Each Monday night at Khalil’s Restaurant in southern Jefferson County, one ticket was chosen at random from among all of those sold that week.
The lucky participant whose ticket was draw had the opportunity to chose from an ever-decreasing deck of cards affixed to a game board trying to locate the Queen of Hearts. No winner meant that all tickets for the week were thrown out to repeat the process for the following Monday.
As weeks turned into months without a correct guess, the pot – which is split between the winner and the charitable organization – grew to more than three-quarters of a million dollars.
The final tally was $773,800, of which Leslie Duncan – whose ticket was drawn earlier this week and who had successfully located the Queen of Hearts from the remaining cards – will take home $309,520.
After a two week hiatus, the charity plans to repeat the process with another round of the game.