Garrettsville – The Queen of Hearts is playing hard to get at SkyLanes Bowling & Sky Lounge. So the stakes keep getting higher.
That’s right. What started 33 weeks ago as a marketing tool to get more customers in the door on a slow night has more than delivered. Now The Queen of Hearts jackpot is up to over $115,000, says bowling alley owner and gamekeeper Aaron King. The most recent drawing was on Sunday, April 10, when the Six of Clubs (card #27) was turned up. ( A record 50/50 drawing also awarded a lucky winner and the Scott Vanhorn family $1,170 each.)
The Queen of Hearts is hiding somewhere in the 21 remaining cards on the board. By next Sunday’s drawing, King will —weather permitting — move the drawing out to the parking lot, so the growing crowds don’t tempt fire code concerns inside. The parking lot is already at capacity. Overflow parking is up the hill at TLC.
To date, this is the biggest jackpot ever in Garrettsville. The Eagles Club hosted a $52,000 Queen of Hearts jackpot last year. The jackpots of the Moose and Elks clubs each got to $100,000 levels. This is the second Queen of Hearts board at SkyLane. Its first jackpot topped out at $9,4000 when the Queen of Hearts turned up about halfway through the deck.
People throughout Portage County are showing up to try their luck at the game and be present at the Queen of Hearts drawing every Sunday evening. Thousands of dollars are taken in at $5 per ticket or five for $20. The last ticket sale of the week is taken at 5:30 pm, then the drawing is at 6pm when Juice Newton’s “Queen of Hearts” plays over the speakers.
Anyone is eligible to play, with no limit on the number of tickets purchased. Tickets can be purchased immediately after the drawing and up to 5:30pm the following Sunday. There can only be one name per ticket, written legibly on the back of the ticket along with the number of the card you want turned over.
Each Sunday at 6pm, a name is drawn from the tickets purchased that week. If your name is drawn, the card number on your ticket is unsealed and revealed. Once a card is selected, it’s removed from play and shown face up on on the board. Each week after the drawing, all tickets for that week’s drawing are destroyed.
If the chosen card is the Queen of Hearts, the winner receives the Jackpot — keep in mind, if you’re not present, and your name is drawn, you receive half the amount.
Being present at the time of the drawing is key. “If you’re here and you bought a ticket, odds are, you’ll win something,” King explains. If the Queen of Hearts is not drawn, and you get a face card or an Ace, you win $100. If you get a 2-10 card, you win $25. If you get the Joker, you win 10 percent of the jackpot. If you’re not present and your ticket is drawn when the Queen of Hearts is turned over, you win half the jackpot… which could reach as high as $500,000 if the Queen hides until the final round in the 52nd week.
As long as the game is played, SkyLanes wins in extra food and beverage sales. ”It’s paying off for the business,” King says. “And it’s fun for the town. It gives people something to talk about; something fun to dream about.”
When the Queen of Hearts finally gets overturned, she’ll turn some lucky winner’s life around with the heftiest prize payout in Garrettsville history.