Pearl Harbor Day was a lucky one for an American Legion member who won the Ace of Hearts jackpot at the American Legion Marrs-Meyer Post 991 in Worth.
The unidentified member, who does not belong to the Marrs-Meyer post, hit it big Sunday afternoon and walked away with half of the more than $287,000 generated over the several weeks the jackpot was in play.
The Marrs-Meyer post keeps the other half of the winnings and will use the money for facility improvements and veterans’ causes, officials said.
Four hundred people packed the Legion, 11001 S. Depot Ave., for Sunday afternoon’s drawing, while another 3,500 people were gathered outside the facility, officials said. In fact, the Legion recently erected a tent to accommodate the overflow crowds.
“Outside it was just insane,” said Lisa Finnegan, manager of the Legion bar. “It was nuts. I’m just glad it’s over.
“Someone had to win. Too bad it wasn’t me,” Finnegan added.
When the eventual winner’s ticket was drawn, all he had to do was choose the ace of hearts from the remaining six cards in the deck. Had he guessed wrong, the jackpot would have continued another week and the Legion would have probably been even crazier.
Previous Ace of Hearts jackpots at Legion have not exceeded $8,800.
The raffle had been going on for weeks, and the jackpot continued to grow. It was $227,000 the Sunday before the winning card was chosen. Hefty ticket sales caused the jackpot to jump $60,000 in one week.
The game is simple and begins with a full deck of cards plus two jokers. Each week, players buy raffle tickets for a chance to pick the winning the card—the ace of hearts. If the card is not chosen, the game carries over to the following week causing the jackpot to grow.