Queen of Hearts winner receives $265,000; eight finalists get $5,000

A regular at a Hamilton bar left happy and rich Tuesday night.

The unidentified man won more than $265,000 in the Queen of Hearts raffle game after the owners decided to have a drawdown. The game was “getting out of hand,” said Jeff Gehrlich, owner of Avenue Tavern and Grille.

Before the winning card was drawn, eight other people who didn’t pick the Queen of Hearts won $5,000 each, Gehrlich said.

The Queen of Hearts was the last card drawn, he said.

Gehrlich said the bar will continue the Queen of Hearts game after the NFL season ends in February. The overflow crowds were hampering bar sales because the Hamilton Fire Department set the inside capacity at 99.

The winner will receive a cash payment at a later date, Gehrlich said. The man was given a 1099 tax form to complete.

Gehrlich also changed the rules because of the growing jackpot. The winner didn’t have to be present.

Still, he said, the parking lot was “packed and everybody was excited.”

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