New Lenox VFW raffle tops $90,000
September 26, 2012 11:02AM
Updated: October 29, 2012 6:26AM
NEW LENOX — For people who like to gamble, New Lenox’s American Legion Post 1977 may be the hottest ticket around.
It’s ongoing Friday night raffle is up to $91,190 with a 1-in-13 chance to win. The next drawing is this Friday.
Ever since the village opted out on video poker, the post had to get creative with fundraising ideas, Senior Vice Commander Jim Turnbull said.
Last year it started a 54-card raffle, including jokers. The new deck of cards is publicly opened. Each card is spread out face down and pinned on a board, then locked behind a glass case with 24-hour surveillance. Then at 7 p.m. every Friday, the Legion sells raffle tickets for a chance to pick a card.
The goal is to find the queen of hearts for the pot. The other queens pay $100 each, and jokers pay $50 each.
Six raffle tickets cost $5. Half the raffle’s earnings go into the pot. The other half goes toward the post’s building fund. Last week, the pot increased $16,000 in one night, with total revenue sales reaching $32,000.
“We never expected it to get like this,” Turnbull said. “Nobody in their wildest dreams ever thought it would happen.”
Turnbull and Finance Officer Nick Weinert appeared before the New Lenox Village Board this week for approval of a new raffle license. On the same night, the board approved an ordinance requiring non-profits within the corporation limits to obtain a license for all raffles where money is exchanged.
— Erin Gallagher