A raffle that could potentially result in a seven-figure prize may be coming to Homewood.
The Homewood village board is considering the village’s first Queen of Hearts raffle after a license request was made by Glenwood Academy. The raffle would be held at 5th Quarter and Pressroom Eatery at 18105 Dixie Highway.
The board discussed the raffle with officials from the school at its Oct. 23 meeting.
Queen of Hearts raffles have become a popular fundraiser in the Chicago area.
A raffle board has 54 cards, including a full deck plus two jokers. Participants buy a ticket and choose a number. One ticket is chosen at random in a weekly drawing and that ticket number is opened on the board. If the queen of hearts is revealed, the ticket buyer wins the prize. If another card is behind that number, the pot rolls over for another week.
The game is designed to run for a year, which can make for very large prize pools. An anonymous man split a $2.6 million pot with St. Cajetan Elementary School in Chicago after winning a raffle in August at McNally’s Pub in the Beverly neighborhood, according to several reports.
Homewood trustees would have to grant certain exceptions to Homewood village code, if the Glenwood Academy raffle license were approved.
The ticket sale time frame would have to be extended from 90 days to one year. The maximum prize would have to be raised from $5,000 to $2 million.
Village Attorney Chris Cummings said the village would have to waive the fidelity bond requirement, as well. A fidelity bond would insure the prize pool.
Glenwood Academy President Mary Hollie said she didn’t expect that to be an issue and that the school would pursue a fidelity bond. Cummins said the academy would need to submit a copy of it or documented proof that the school’s board unanimously approved not getting one.
Trustees also had concerns about parking and the need for an added police presence, should the raffle draw large crowds. Mayor Richard Hofeld said he would ask Homewood police to provide a report on the potential impact.
Hofeld also said the police would need to reserve the right to rescind the license, if it deemed that necessary.
Board members also raised the possibility of limiting the raffle’s time frame to only six months in an effort to cap the potential prize pool.
The village is expected to vote on the license at its Nov. 13 meeting.