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Mantua woman wins $3 million-plus in Queen of Hearts

by MATTHEW MERCHANT RECORD-COURIER REPORTER Published: September 28, 2016 1:00 AM
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Garrettsville -- She's been found and the game is over -- for now.

One lucky lady from Mantua won more than $3 million in SkyLane Bowling's Queen of Hearts game Sept. 25.

Terri Vechery was the name written on the ticket drawn from Ohio's largest tumbler, ending more than 50 weeks of gameplay.

Vechery was not in attendance when the winning ticket was drawn, much to the disappointment of the crowd gathered outside the bowling alley.

The final jackpot was $3.42 million, a total that broke and almost doubled the known world record in Queen of Hearts games.

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Roughly $1 million in tickets were sold this week alone after the jackpot ended at just over $2.34 million on Sept. 18.

Bowling alley owner Aaron King let out a yell as he flipped the red face card around to the crowd. Before he flipped it, he called Vechery and accidentally began a FaceTime chat with her.

"It was great to see her reaction in real time since she couldn't be here," King said after the crowds departed. "She was going nuts."

The final jackpot for the 50/50 raffle was $312,032, with half being split by the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce and Portage County District Library. One winner walked away with $156,016 in cash.

With that donation, the raffles during the Queen of Hearts drawings have garnered roughly $500,000, all given to charity.

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"That's by far the best thing about all of this is giving away so much money to local charities and organizations," King said.

Bon Jovi tribute band Wanted performed live for the crowd before the drawing at 6 p.m.

Much of those usually in attendance were not present, as King changed the rules after last week to better handle the large crowds. The winner did not need to be present.

On Sept. 24, King and the SkyLane staff sold tickets at the village park, causing some traffic headaches as hundreds flocked to the village for tickets. King said he's had people from as far away as India and Australia purchasing tickets over the past few weeks.

With 10 percent of the final Queen jackpot being taken to restart the next Queen of Hearts game, that means the new jackpot will start at $342,629.

King said he's planning to give his staff some time off before restarting the game in three or four weeks.

Email: mmerchant@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4156

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