HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC)—Hundreds of people from throughout the Commonwealth, and even as far away as Texas, flocked to Hopewell Moose Lodge 1472 on Monday night hoping Lady Luck would send them home with the $81,000 jackpot.
The Hopewell Moose Lodge has been hosting its weekly Queen of Hearts Drawing every Monday for nearly a year. The pot started at $500 and—after 49 weeks without a raffle winner—has grown to more than $81,000.
On the evening of Oct. 21, the usual small gathering of local Moose Lodge members was replaced by a crowd of more than 600 from all over the country.
"Right now we live in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina," said raffle player Kathy Moring. She and Donnie Moring are originally from the Hopewell area and drove more than 300 miles for their chance to win the jackpot.
The Moose Lodge invited 8News Reporter Parker Slaybaugh to draw the winning ticket.
With just seven playing cards remaining, Eric Washburn hoped to take home the grand prize. Of 4, 5, 29, 30, 41, 45 and 53, he chose 5.
"It's my favorite number," Washburn said. "It's my sports number, playing softball and basketball."
Though Washburn's lucky 5 card didn't win, his misfortune turned into good fortune for all the other players; since he didn't find the queen of hearts, the next jackpot drawing is valued at more than $90,000.
Washburn didn't go home entirely empty handed.
"It's some Moose Bucks, so you can spend them here for whatever," he said.
The next drawing won't be held until Nov. 11; only Moose Lodge members may purchase raffle tickets.
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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