Heading Logo


Hearts drawing is growing in Portage County

By MATTHEW MERCHANT Staff Writer Published: April 10, 2017 4:00 AM

After four months of drawings, the Queen of Hearts game at Garrettsville's SkyLane Bowling Alley has been making an extended impact on Portage County.

Sunday's drawing resulted in the Ace of Hearts card being drawn, and the winner, who wasn't present, received half of 15 percent, or $24,942. The jackpot total dropped to a starting point of $307,608.

That's nothing compared to the $3.4 million, world record-setting jackpot that SkyLanes hosted late last year. And with the jackpot expected to grow as the weather heats up, SkyLanes owner Aaron King said he is looking to host the drawings in different communities throughout the county.

Sunday's crowd was also sparse, King said, which doesn't help the grow the raffle or jackpot totals.

"With the weather being nice, I was expecting around 3,000 people. We didn't get nearly that much," he said. "But the 50/50 went to a good cause and that's what counts."

[Article continues below]

Since last year, the raffles have generated more than $525,000 for area charities and organizations.

Sunday's 50/50 drawing benefited the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Portage County, with almost $5,000 going into a fund for Songfest, the annual Greek life charity event at Kent State University. Songfest, which will be held April 22 in the KSU Ballroom, is expected to raise more than $100,000 for BBBS.

Pete Mahoney, community relations for Family & Community Service, has been helping King with finding organizations around the county that could benefit from the 50/50 funds. At the bowling alley on Sunday to receive the funds were Amber Hydash and Albert Smith, members of Greek life organizations at KSU.

Coming in May, the festival-like Queen drawings, including live bands and alcohol tents, will likely be hosted in Kent and Ravenna, though details haven't been confirmed with either city councils.

"We realize for all the good it did for our town and local charities, there are some fallbacks for our neighboring businesses," King said. "We respect their right to operate without parking problems that come with large crowds and appreciate the opportunity to still host one drawing a month here."

The next drawing is set for May 14 at SkyLanes.


Rate this article

Do you want to leave a comment?   Please Log In or Register to comment.

redleg6 Apr 10, 2017 5:43 PM

What are the Checks and Balances...???

Who keeps track of all this CASH ...???