Two hundred cases of bottled beers. About 10 half-kegs of draft beers. A dozen sixth-barrels of draft craft and local beers. Two cases of wine. Three or four cases of premium vodka. A case of whiskey.
That’s how much alcohol the McHenry Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4600, 3002 Route 120, goes through each week after the wildly popular Queen of Hearts drawing’s jackpot topped $1 million.
“Everything’s gone up 300 percent,” said VFW Cmdr. Dwane Lungren, adding that Tuesday night they ran out of cold beer bottles. “Usually, we go through 65 to 70 cases of beer on Tuesday night alone. Our orders used to be 20 to 30 cases total for the week. We used to have one shipment a week.”
The promise of winning millions of dollars attracts thousands of people from across the area to the post every week to buy tickets.
Each Tuesday, the site is filled to capacity as hundreds turn out to see if someone wins the pot. The jackpot for Tuesday’s drawing rose to $6,077,599 after almost a million tickets were sold.
Lungren said Miller Brewing Company products are by far the most popular, with about 150 cases of Miller High Life, Miller 64, Miller Lite, Coors Light and Corona sold each week. The VFW goes through about 50 cases of Anheuser-Busch products including Budweiser, Bud Light and Stella Artois.
The most popular item: Miller Lite.
“We go through 70, 80 cases of it easily. We have it on tap, too,” Lungren said.
Beer costs $3 for domestic bottles, $4 for import bottles and $2.75 to $4 for drafts.
The game has seen an explosion of interest as the jackpot grows.
Time is running out to join in on the contest, as only eight cards remain. The remaining numbers are 20, 25, 30, 36, 38, 40, 51 and 54.
If the queen of hearts is chosen Tuesday, the winner will earn 60 percent of the pot, which is about $2.4 million after state and federal taxes.
Another 20 percent of the pot would go back to the VFW, and the final 20 percent would go to starting the next pot, which starts Jan. 8.