Queen of Hearts prize still in play as hopefuls flood small town - KMOV.com

Queen of Hearts prize still in play as hopefuls flood small town with chance to win

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Aviston, Illinois. Credit: KMOV Aviston, Illinois. Credit: KMOV

 AVISTON , Ill. (KMOV.com) -- A small Illinois town is getting flooded with visitors, sometimes twice their population.

It is all because of the "Queen of Hearts" drawing. There was no winner in last week's drawing in Aviston, meaning the pot has grown to nearly $500,000. With no winner, the game at the Aviston American Legion has been going strong since January. 

"We did not think it would get like this. $475,000.  Wow. Half-a-million is right there," says Barbara Haselhort. 

Because turn out is so high, only those who are registered can keep playing. But each week means new tickets have to be bought. That keeps bringing lots of people back into the town of about 2,000.  

"A lot of chaos. Cars parked everywhere," says Haselhort. 

It is estimated the town's population is doubling each week with those visitors, which great for the bottom line.

"Businesses has picked up especially in the bar area. I was bartending Tuesday night and there was a big crowd in there from buying tickets," says Monica Wellen with Aviston Family Restaurant. 

The American Legion Hall will also benefit from all these ticket sales. But for now, those buying are already planning how to spend the Queen's money. 
One Queen of Hearts hopeful told News 4, "We will let the government take their share. Once we have something left, we will have a big family event." 

Wednesday, October 25 at 8 p.m. is the next drawing. 

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