EDGEBROOK — Queen of Hearts fever is burning hot on the city’s Northwest Side, as another parish fundraiser saw a raffle pot grow to staggering numbers while neighborhood residents packed a local bar hoping to win.
The winning card still hasn’t been found in St. Mary of the Woods Parish’s Queen of Hearts raffle as the pot has swelled to $415,030.
It was standing room only Wednesday at City’s Edge, 5310 W. Devon Ave., as raffle ticket holders waited to see if they were lucky enough to find the Queen of Hearts in the deck and win half of the pot.
A few miles away, the Firewater Saloon, 6689 N. Oliphant Ave., is holding its own Queen of Hearts raffle to benefit St. Juliana Parish, 7201 N. Oketo Ave. Their drawings are every Thursday and so far the pot has rolled over to more than $500,000.
The soaring pots come a year after the Queen of Hearts raffle at McNally’s in Morgan Park famously topped out at $2.6 million. It grew so large, the city had to scramble to change the law on the books capping the jackpot.
The anticipation and the chance for a huge payday was a boon for McNally’s and for the other taverns around the area jumping into the Queen of Hearts parade.
That’s no different for City’s Edge.
As the pot has grown, the crowd has gone from maybe 10 people during the Wednesday night drawing to the bar being nearly at capacity.
“Some nights you can’t even walk in the door. We have the windows open and actually have people outside the bar watching,” said Blake Baum, a manager at City’s Edge.
Whoever finds the elusive Queen of Hearts will split the pot 50/50 with St. Mary of the Woods Parish at 7033 N. Moselle Ave. But if the card isn’t found during the weekly drawing, the pot rolls over.
Card number 48 on Wednesday was not the Queen of Hearts and the pot rolled over again.
“This is our first Queen of Hearts raffle and we have six cards left,” Baum said. “I feel like I say every Wednesday it’s going to happen this Wednesday.”
Baum’s family are parishioners at St. Mary and alums of its school — his mother attended as did he and his siblings. So hosting the raffle is a way for the family to give back to the parish.
Representatives from St. Mary were not immediately available. However the parish did have a message on its website about its raffle.
“Whether you have children in our school or not, I think the whole parish (and neighborhood) benefits from a strong Catholic school. Our kids make life exciting and bring a lot of energy to everything we do, which keeps our parish revitalized,” the website said. “So please support the raffle. Any and all benefits that come to our school will make St. Mary’s better for a long time to come and help make the excellent academic program a model for all the schools on the Northwest Side.”
The next drawing is on Wednesday at City’s Edge. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the parish or at City’s Edge. For more information on the raffle click here.
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